Last updated: July 09. 2014 9:29PM - 96 Views

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It’s a drone

On the night of June 26, Pittsburgh Pirates fans saw something flying above the field: not a baseball, but a drone.

Team officials asked police to find the drone operator and ask him to stop the flight; he quickly complied. Yet the Federal Aviation Administration properly investigated the incident.

The drone that flew over the stadium isn’t the sort that roams over Iraq and Afghanistan. But that doesn’t mean the potential for something bad doesn’t fly with this sort of domestic drone.

It takes little imagination to figure out how a small drone could cause great harm. A remote-controlled vehicle could accidentally plunge into a crowd.

An FAA rule instituted after 9/11 requires most aircraft, including drones, to keep a prescribed distance from major sports stadiums. Drones might also be covered by trespassing laws, but when they invade airspace rather than property, the issue is not clear.

The episode demonstrates that the law has not kept pace with technology. New laws addressing drones are needed; in drafting them, lawmakers at all levels should be mindful that the aircraft also have legitimate uses — pursuing recreation, gauging security, gathering news, inspecting infrastructure.

The drones are coming. The only question is whether we will be prepared. — The Toledo Blade

Tax revisions could help

The recently passed mid-biennium budget review included some tax revisions that will do much to help families and small businesses.

But the entire state also will gain, as these changes clip social-welfare costs and boost economic growth.

Among the many provisions Gov. John Kasich and the legislature included in the budget bill is one to increase the state’s year-old earned-income tax credit. Doubling the Ohio benefit from 5 to 10 percent of the federal credit claimed will help about 475,000 working poor in Ohio.

The earned-income credit serves as an incentive for low-wage-earning Ohioans to leave welfare and better themselves with work. And that can have a huge effect on society and long-term costs.

“These tax credits truly make work pay for low-wage earners, ” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, prior to the passage of the budget bill.

“Research has found that lifting low-income families’ income when a child is young not only tends to improve a child’s immediate well-being, but is associated with better health, more schooling, more hours worked and higher earnings in adulthood,” according to the nonpartisan think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Studies show most families use the tax savings for basic necessities. — The Columbus Dispatch

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