Editorial roundup


The Columbus Dispatch, Jan. 31

Ohioans support the state’s colleges and universities to the tune of $2.1 billion a year. In return for this investment, the legislature could assure taxpayers their money isn’t being wasted by passing a bill that would allow the state auditor to delve into whether spending on programs, people and purchases is appropriate and efficient.

House Bill 384, backed by Auditor Dave Yost and other fiscal experts, gives the auditor’s office authority to conduct higher-education performance audits. This would be in addition to the auditor’s routine financial audits, which safeguard against fraud and theft.

“A performance audit can be used to identify potential waste, leading to cost savings, better services and more-cost effective budgets,” said Rep. Mike Duffey, R-Worthington, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster …

Such audits also could help to resolve controversies, such as one at University of Akron over the costly remodeling of the president’s home (while employees were being laid off) or OSU’s decision to lease its parking assets …

As this worthy bill advances, lawmakers should reject an amendment being floated to make auditor’s office pay for the performance audits, not the colleges …

Lawmakers should pass H.B. 384 to extend this opportunity to Ohio’s public colleges and universities and protect Ohio taxpayers.

Online: http://bit.ly/1P9HKv1

The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Jan. 30

As an estimated 200,000 Americans prepare to compete in or attend the 31st Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year, an unwelcome visitor has cast a pall over preparations for the world- acclaimed Games.

That intruder, the Zika virus transmitted via bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has rapidly morphed into an epidemic centered primarily in Central and South America with Brazil as its vortex …

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan put the Western Hemisphere on high alert this week, noting the virus is “spreading explosively” in the Americas. As a result, a committee of the WHO will convene in emergency session Monday to brainstorm an action plan to fight the virus and possibly declare it an international health emergency. Health leaders in the United States and around the globe should support that and other initiatives to reign in the virus and prevent it from becoming a global pandemic …

A more appropriate response would be for health leaders to work feverishly to minimize the likelihood for infection before the Games begin. Then visitors to Rio and other areas of potential Zika attacks should follow a strict regimen of preventive safeguards, caution and responsibility.

Online: http://bit.ly/1RVFU6M

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