Cordray, Crites disagree over veterans' bonuses legislation

Chris Rizo Oct. 3, 2008, 2:36pm

Richard Cordray (D)

Mike Crites (R)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)-Ohio Democratic attorney general candidate Richard Cordray on Friday called for passage of legislation that would afford bonuses to Ohio service members and veterans of recent military conflicts.

Cordray, who is the Ohio state treasurer, urged the state House to pass a Senate-approved bill that would place on the November ballot a $200 million general obligation bond package to provide money to service members, veterans or their family members.

"Ohio has provided these types of bonuses to military members and their families since the Civil War," Cordray said.

Under the plan approved unanimously by the state Senate, veterans of the Persian Gulf War would receive up to $700, while Ohioans in foreign service in Afghanistan or Iraq would receive up to $500 and those in active service in the war-torn countries would receive $1,000.

Senate Joint Resolution 5 also would provide for a survivor's payment of $5,000 if a military family member was killed in duty in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan or Iraq, a statement said.

"This investment is the least we can do to tell our military members and their families that we care about them, and I look forward to working with a new, Democrat-led Ohio House to make these bonuses a reality," Cordray said.

Cordray is ruuning against Republican Mike Crites, a former U.S. attorney, and a partner in the Columbus-based law firm of Rich, Crites & Dittmer, LLC.

Crites said as a Vietnam War veteran and a retired captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve he personally understands the sacrifices made by men and women in uniform.

"While I fully support the idea of providing bonuses to brave Ohioans serving our country, I do not believe Rich Cordray's plan to put the tab on the state's credit card is fiscally sound," Crites said. "Rather, I support the approach taken by Speaker Jon Husted and the House of Representatives - paying for the bonus out of state savings - is far more prudent."

A SurveyUSA poll released this week indicates Cordray has an eight-point lead over Crites, 42 percent to 34 percent.

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