Struggling Ohio Gets in Line for Federal Help

Governor seeks $5B from stimulus, says he's not 'crying wolf'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2008 3:45 PM CST
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland speaks at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio Friday, Oct. 31, 2008.   (AP Photo/David Richard)
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(Newser) – Ted Strickland recently put in a call to Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s incoming chief of staff. “Rahm, it’s Ted,” the Ohio governor said. “You’ve never failed me, and I need $5 billion.” Such is the desperation in Ohio, one of many states seeking money from Obama’s proposed stimulus, the Washington Post reports. Strickland has been forced to slash some $1.9 billion from his budget as his state has lost 100,000 jobs.

“We’re not crying wolf,” Strickland says. “This is real.” Strickland believes the federal government should dole out three $250 billion rescue plans—one for Medicaid and food stamps, one for infrastructure, and one for education. Emanuel promised Strickland that some help was coming, but Ohio is already feeling the pinch, and some doubt the stimulus will help. “It’s one-time money,” said one food bank director. “We have a structural deficit.” (Read more Ohio stories.)