Governor’s Budget Bill: The Biennial Operating Budget Bill (HB 166) was introduced in the House March 25, and a substitute bill was passed by the Ohio House on May 9. Copies of the original and substitute bill are available at: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-documents?id=GA133-HB-166 The Ohio Senate Finance Committee is currently holding hearings and under Ohio’s Constitution, a budget bill must be signed by the Governor by June 30.
The bill includes initiatives important to Governor DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted, including additional funding for wraparound services for children and families and a water quality program called “H2Ohio” that will fund improvements in waterways across Ohio including Lake Erie. Economic development provisions included in the House’s substitute bill include:
JobsOhio: Governor Mike DeWine announced April 15 the appointment of Robert C. Smith as chairman of the JobsOhio Board of Directors. Smith is partner and market leader of Cerity Partners’ Cleveland office and has more than 40 years of experience in investing, finance, accounting and business management. Smith has held a number of past and current board roles, including appointments to the boards of Team NEO where he is currently Chair, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the Port of Cleveland and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Smith has an MBA in finance from Duquesne University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio Northern University (ONU), which also awarded him an honorary doctorate of business administration for his years of service as chair of the ONU board of trustees.
Governor’s Budget Bill: The Biennial Operating Budget Bill (HB 166) was introduced in the House March 25 and under Ohio’s Constitution, must be signed by the Governor by June 30. The proposed budget appropriates total spending of $69.56 billion in FY 2020, an increase of 4.1% from the current budget, and $71.29 billion in FY 2021, or a 2.5% increase. A link to the full bill can be found at: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-documents?id=GA133-HB-166 and the Legislative Service Commission’s Analysis is at: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/download?key=11470&format=pdf
Governor’s Budget Bill: Governor DeWine announced details of his new two-year budget on Friday March 15. The actual budget bill will be introduced in the legislature shortly. The proposed spending outline for Fiscal Years 2020-2021 includes nearly $70 billion in General Revenue Fund and $150.4 billion in all funds appropriations. It includes a $500 million increase in public-school funding targeted to pay for services for at-risk students, a $900 million “H2 Ohio” water protection fund and $200 million on new initiatives aimed at addiction and mental health. The bill will significantly boost funding for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and provide up to $15 million per year to provide “Micro-degrees” (industry credentials) at no cost to a minimum of 10,000 Ohioans, as long as they remain in Ohio after completion. Micro-degrees are low-cost credentials that take a student less than a year to complete and quickly qualify Ohioans to work in growing industries. State support for indigent defense would also increase under the proposal, from $30 million to $90 million, a move that will help counties who have had to bear the brunt of spending in this area. The bill does not cut or increase taxes, and spending increases are projected to be funded by increased revenues based on an expectation of slow but steady economic growth. Further details can be found at http://budget.ohio.gov/. Details about workforce and innovation proposals are at http://budget.ohio.gov/WorkforceInnovation.aspx.
JobsOhio: Governor Mike DeWine announced on March 13 that Richard J. “Rick” Platt of Newark (Licking Co.) has been appointed to the JobsOhio Board of Directors for a term beginning March 13, 2019, and ending July 5, 2019. Rick serves as the President and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority and has a broad background in economic development.
Governor’s State of the State Address: On March 5, 2019, Governor Mike DeWine (R) delivered his first State of the State address during a joint House and Senate session in the Statehouse. The Governor restated his administration’s top priorities, which include Children’s Initiatives, Opiate/Heroin Addition Prevention & Treatment, Lake Erie’s Water Quality, Economic Development/Workforce Development and Energy. He also called for all Ohioans to work together to move the state forward.