Issue 1 is a vote to add a Constitutional Amendment to issue $200 million in debt to pay veterans for their service in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m a veteran, and highly supportive of veterans issues- but, doing this because we’ve done if for vets from WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do now.
Here’s why. In those other conflicts- the people we were rewarding were conscripts, draftees. They were uprooted from their lives to go serve, whether they wanted to, or not.
The current military is all volunteer. It’s a career choice, and one where we’re already paying large bonuses for reenlistment and for serving. Granted, there is no amount of money that can adequately reward these troops for their duty- but, it is a different situation.
The real way Ohio could honor and reward our veterans is doing something the current legislature refuses to do: recognize veteran owned businesses and especially service disabled veteran-owned businesses as a preferred class when competing for State work. Ohio has nothing on the books or in the works, whereas Washington, Oregon, California, Missouri, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia all have State programs. Minnesota is the 14th and newest state to pass this type of legislation. Source: NaVoba State Tracker Ohio has no problems recognizing minority business owners, but is unwilling to recognize veterans for their service.
While this seems like a feel-good vote, it’s really just more sidestepping by the legislature, dumping the responsibility to take care of the veteran community in the easiest way. I’m voting no on Ohio Issue 1.