Monday afternoon Governor Mike DeWine held a press conference where he unveiled his second budget - a two-year operating budget proposal for FY ’22-23. It includes a variety of appropriations for new initiatives, and while it contains NO tax increases, it does seek a $10 increase in motor vehicle registration fees, and a $2 increase to the title fee to help fund the State Highway Patrol. DeWine also said he would NOT tap the state's $2.7 billion rainy day fund due to the fact of uncertainties in the future as it relates to the virus pandemic and the potential need for more funding later down the road.
The Governor’s proposed general revenue fund spending of $75 billion over the next two years, beginning July 1st, is an increase of 3.4% the first year, and 11% the second year, which he said was "conservative" and "cautious." The large second-year increase is attributable to a large jump in state Medicaid expenses.
The Governor said this budget also represents the core values and mission of his Administration by investing in Ohio families, in the education and well-being of our children, in Ohio's workforce, in our communities, and in our precious natural resources.
One new program that is getting a lot of attention is a $1 billion "Investing in Ohio" Initiative that he said would use one-time revenue, for one-time expenses, fueling Ohio's economic recovery coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. DeWine said this is our "Year of Recovery!" This initiative is an aggressive plan that accelerates the economic growth and ensures economic vitality. By making targeted investments for businesses that have been hit the hardest during the pandemic and for our communities most in need, DeWine said we can address disparities, build prosperity, and set Ohio on the road to a brighter future.
These one-time funds would be used as follows:
$460 million to support Ohio's small businesses. These funds would be distributed among the following:
- $200 million for grants for bars and restaurants.
- $150 million in grants for Small Business Relief Grant applicants.
- $50 million in grants for the lodging industry.
- $40 million for grants for indoor entertainment venues.
- $20 million in grants for new businesses which had been unqualified for aid earlier.
$70 million for Ohio's workforce.
$450 million for Ohio's communities with $200 million for infrastructure projects and $250 million to address the digital divide w/ Broadband. This will include $50 million "to tell Ohio's story," DeWine said, getting the word out that the state "is the best place to find your future …."
DeWine’s main budget priorities and theme throughout his proposal are all about Investing in Ohio’s future, by investing in: Healthy People, Renewed Communities, and a Thriving Economy. Below are many of the programs that are receiving state funding in this proposed budget.
Investing in Ohio’s future: Healthy People. Health surge, Nursing Home Initiatives: Protecting Ohio’s Most Vulnerable, Health Programs, continuing RecoveryOhio, Mental Health Expansions, OHMHAS & ORDC partnerships, K-12 Student Wellness, and includes some Medicaid highlights.
Investing in Ohio’s future: Renewed Communities. Local Government Fund & the public library fund, Law enforcement investments, indigent defense, H2Ohio, Farmland preservation, Broadband, Imagination Library, Children’s Services Transformation, Keeping Ohioans in their Homes, Foodbanks and other Nutrition Programs, and older Ohioans.
Investing in Ohio’s future: A Thriving Economy. Investing in Ohio by Sustaining our Businesses, Investing in Ohio by Enhancing our Communities, Investing in Ohio by Telling Ohio’s story, investing in Ohio by Growing a Skilled Workforce, Transforming the Unemployment Insurance System, Expanding Access to Affordable Childcare, Supporting K-12 Learning, Prioritizing Higher Education and Student Scholarship Programs.
Today’s announcement was regarding his proposed funding levels and some program highlights, while the actual policy language and details will be released later, within the next week or so.
The proposed Executive Budget "blue book," including Governor DeWine's full budget recommendations, and budget highlights, can be found on budget.ohio.gov.
Lawmakers will also act on separate budgets for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT, and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), simultaneously. The BWC budget is also to be completed by the end of June, while the ODOT budget must be completed by the end of March.
Governor DeWine’s Budget proposal has a lot of great programs and tackles a lot of important issues that face the state of Ohio now. So now that the Budget has been introduced, it will start to move through the legislative process over the next several months, by first going through the House for further deliberations, and then off to the Senate after that for even more discussions before it is finalized. There is much to do in a short time frame. All of this must be complete and signed into law by June 30th. Please contact Rich Bitonte or any other ZHF Consulting professional if you have any questions, if you would like some more details, and/or if we can be of any assistance throughout this entire budget process.