Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited The Ohio State University to highlight President Obama’s speech on the American Jobs Act and what it means to Ohioans. Secretary Vilsack met with leaders from The Ohio State University and from the local business community to discuss the Administration’s strategy to strengthen the U.S. economy.
Specifically, the American Jobs Act:
• Cuts the payroll tax in half to 3.1% for employers on the first $5 million in wages, providing broad tax relief to all businesses but targeting it to the 98 percent of firms with wages below this level. In Ohio, 200,000 firms will receive a payroll tax cut under the American Jobs Act.
• Includes $50 billion in immediate investments for highways, transit, rail and aviation, helping to modernize an infrastructure that now receives a grade of “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers and putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job. Of the investments for highway and transit modernization projects, the President’s plan will make immediate investments of at least $1,051,800,000 in Ohio that could support a minimum of approximately 13,700 local jobs.
• Invests $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping cops and firefighters on the job. These funds would help states and localities avoid and reverse layoffs now, and will provide $1,093,800,000 in funds to Ohio to support up to 14,200 educator and first responder jobs.
• Proposes a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs. Ohio will receive $985,500,000 in funding to support as many as 12,800 jobs.
• Invests $15 billion in a national effort to put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses. Ohio could receive about $577,200,000 to revitalize and refurbish local communities, in addition to funds that would be available through a competitive application.
• Proposes $5 billion of investments for facilities modernization needs at community colleges. Investment in modernizing community colleges fills a key resource gap, and ensures these local, bedrock education institutions have the facilities and equipment to address current workforce demands in today’s highly technical and growing fields. Ohio could receive $148,300,000 in funding in the next fiscal year for its community colleges.
• Reforms to the unemployment insurance (UI) system to help those without jobs transition to the workplace. This could help put the 250,000 long-term unemployed workers in Ohio back to work.
• Extends unemployment insurance, preventing 80,000 people looking for work in Ohio from losing their benefits in just the first 6 weeks. And, across the country, the number saved from losing benefits would triple by the end of the year.
• Proposes a new Pathways Back to Work Fund to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries. Pathways Back to Work could place 5,200 adults and 10,900 youths in jobs in Ohio.
• Expands the payroll tax cut passed last December by cutting workers payroll taxes in half next year. A typical household in Ohio, with a median income of around $46,000, will receive a tax cut of around $1,430.