LIMA — Betty Sutton, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, made her second public appearance at the UAW Hall this election cycle Monday afternoon to criticize Attorney General Mike DeWine joining a lawsuit challenging an Obama-era federal rule that would have extended overtime pay to salaried workers making between $24,000 and $48,000.
Sutton said DeWine’s actions are just one example of the Republican candidate for governor defending big business over the middle class.
“DeWine has shown time and time again that he protects Wall Street, big business, insurance companies and the wealthy donors that write him campaign checks. It gives me no pleasure to say that,” Sutton said.
Sutton also highlighted a recent study released by “Innovation Ohio”, a left-learning think tank, that quantifies the result of the elimination of the overtime pay extension.
The study estimates 327,063 Ohioans would have qualified under the proposed rules to receive overtime pay. Originally slated to go into effect in 2016, the federal regulation has been put on hold as a consequence of the legal challenge. Innovation Ohio estimates that Ohio workers are losing an extra $42 million in overtime benefits annually due to the rule failing to go into effect.
The lawsuit, supported by 21 states including Ohio, claims the overtime extension rule would have placed a heavy burden on state budgets.
“Wall Street is continuing to see huge profits. Corporate CEOs are taking in huge salaries and bonuses, but middle class and working families in Ohio are suffering far too much,” Sutton said. “Right here in Allen County, [we] see Republicans bragging about the booming economy, but [working family] paychecks aren’t stretching any further than they used to, and in fact, many are seeing quite the opposite happening. The race for governor should be about putting money back into the pockets of middle class families.”
After Lima’s event, Sutton had another rally planned for the Findlay area attacking DeWine on what Cordray’s campaign says is a failure to protect those with pre-existing conditions from receiving fair healthcare coverage.
“It’s another example of where our priorities lie. Rich Cordray and I always stand up for middle class families,” Sutton said.
As for potential policy changes to increase wage growth, Sutton mentioned increasing the funds spent on workforce development. Examples include investing federal dollars into job training and ensuring those who may not attend college still have opportunities to develop the right skills to get a good job.
“We think that everybody in Ohio needs to have pathways to good opportunities, good jobs that pay a good wage and that they can raise a family on [so that] they can take care of themselves and have a good quality of life,” Sutton said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.