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Maintaining Health and Human Services with Diminishing Resources: A Survey of Ohio Voters

Ohio, like most states, is experiencing an economic downturn characterized by lower state revenues and higher need for state services. As a result, there is now a nearly $720 million shortfall in the state's 2003 budget. In the next two years, Ohio will face a $4 billion shortfall. Thus, state leaders are facing the daunting task of dismantling programs and services, cutting state jobs, and finding new ways to generate needed resources. Many of these cuts disproportionately affect health and human services for children, the elderly, the disabled, and low-income working families. AARP's telephone survey of 1000 randomly selected age 18+ Ohio voters found that: 

  • 89 percent say it is important to them that the state of Ohio maintain current levels of funding for human services while 86 percent say that, even if they themselves are not currently personally eligible, it is important for Ohio to maintain current levels of funding that help people obtain human services
  • 59 percent think the costs of human services should be shared between the individual and the government
  • between 82 and 88 percent support finding ways to generate additional revenues if the money would be spent on specific health and human services
  • between 71 and 88 percent are likely to accept an increase in taxes or other fees in order to maintain the current funding levels for specific types of human service programs 

The survey was conducted between February 3 and 15, 2003 by Woelfel Research, Inc., and the report prepared by Susan L. Silberman, Ph.D., of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted for further information at 202/434-6339. (26 pages) 

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