State of OH announces budget cuts
- Author: Ismael Montgomery May 08, 2020,
May 08, 2020, 0:42
When asked by a reporter, who referenced a historical number of defeated school levies this primary season, about additional cuts coming in July DeWine said he "hopes to avoid additional cuts", but eluded that cuts are likely to continue into the next fiscal year.
Coronavirus cases continue to climb in adult and juvenile prisons in OH, according to county, state and federal agencies. As of the end of April, Ohio's revenues were below the budgeted estimates by $776.9 million.
"That is the most dramatic swing I can ever recall", said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. Retailers are slated to follow on May 12, and an announcement on bars, restaurants, barbershops and other businesses is expected in the next week.
In announcing the reduction, the governor said he does not plan to tap into the state's rainy day fund. OH now has almost $2.7 billion in the fund.
The constitution of OH requires a balanced budget each year, requiring the Governor to identify and reduce expenditures to ensure the state's budget is balanced on the last day of June. "This rain is not a passing spring shower".
"This could be a cold, long, lingering storm", said DeWine in referring to the economic uncertainty that he hinted might last for up to two years. House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes also said Acton made an easy scapegoat as an unelected official.
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In a Wednesday statement, Democratic Ohio State Representative Thomas E. West called the proposed legislation "misguided" and "secretive".
DeWine expressed concern for schools that don't have the available revenue, indicating his intent to make cuts to districts that have available cash on hand or residents who are more able to fund their local schools. Earlier this week, DeWine, a Republican, said that he is ultimately the person responsible for making such decisions.
Prisons are one of the few areas that will not face cuts.
Why it matters: DeWine has earned praise for his aggressive and early steps to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus in OH, such as closing schools before any governor in the country and postponing the state's March 17 primary.
As Ohio's COVID-19 cases topped 20,000 for the first time, DeWine said the state's economy took a "swing" of almost $1 billion between the end of February and the end of April. That's an increase of 495 new cases in the last day, and a higher-than-average increase of 79 new deaths.