Members and Friends,
It is time to act on behalf of Ohioana….
Contact Your State Representative Now to Support the Ohioana Budget!
Governor Kasich’s proposed state budget bill has been released. It includes an appropriation of $120,000 in each of Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 for Ohioana. Because this funding is critically important for Ohioana to maintain core services, we ask you to contact your state representative to express your strong support for our budget. (If you don’t know the name of your representative, please refer to item #4 below.)
The Ohioana budget will first be heard in the Ohio House by the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. We expect to provide testimony in the last week of March, and will be relying on you to write, call, and/or visit your representative to voice your support. If you prefer to write, please send letters, not emails. Letters should be brief and cite your personal experiences for supporting Ohioana’s programs. Phone calls and visits are also very effective. Please note the following suggestions:
1. Be positive. Express your appreciation for previous state funding. Share your personal experiences that have led you to become an avid Ohioana supporter. We suggest you use the following format in addressing letters to representatives: The Honorable Jane Doe, The Ohio House of Representatives, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.
2. The following are talking points that you may want to consider when composing letters or having discussions with legislators.
· At the foundation of all of our services is the Ohioana Collection. On behalf of the citizens of Ohio, Ohioana promotes and preserves the legacy of Ohio authors, musicians and artists and through our programs we foster and nurture the talents of aspiring young writers and readers.
· State funding is needed to sustain our core services. These funds are necessary so that Ohioana can seek out and leverage additional private support. Through this successful public/private partnership, Ohioana programs touched more than 80,000 Ohioans, including the Ohioana Book Festival, outreach to schools and libraries, and online educational materials.
· Ask for their support of $120,000 each year for Fiscal Years ‘12 and ‘13 for Ohioana funding. The funds are appropriated in line item 355-501 of the budget bill.
· Thank the legislator for his/her consideration and past support.
3. If you are calling or visiting legislators, but are unable to meet personally with them, take advantage of the time to speak with their legislative aides. Because of heavy scheduling demands with multiple hearings and meetings, legislators may not be available at all times and do rely upon their aides to assist them in hearing constituent concerns. If possible, send a follow up note of appreciation after the meeting.
4. If you do not know who your state legislators are, check the website http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/ or call your county board of elections or local library. You can also call the toll free legislative information number at 1 (800) 282-0253 to find phone numbers and addresses of legislators.
Thank you for showing your support of Ohioana. Legislators have told us that the views of their constituents are very important to them, so please let them hear from you!