Budget proposal targets job skills and more

By Barbara Benton, CAE, OSCPA's Vice President of Government Relations

Governor Mike DeWine on March 15 unveiled his fiscal year 20-21 biennial budget for the State of Ohio. Total proposed spending is up $1.18B in FY2020 and $1.62B in FY2021, with much of the additional spending targeted at addressing:

  • The need to “upskill” Ohioans in employment areas needed to meet the demands of today’s economy. DeWine said his budget will cover entire cost of “microdegrees,” low-cost, quick-to-earn work credentials for at least 10,000 Ohioans a year. He is also adding money for the neediest college students and those in STEM degree fields.
  • Ohioans with addiction and mental health and the related ripple effect on children, employers and service providers.
  • Better addressing the needs of at-risk children through additional funding to school districts targeted specifically at these programs, and increased spending for child and family services to support foster care and other initiatives.
  • The need to protect Lake Erie and other waterways that feed Ohio water supplies from algal blooms. Up to $900M is proposed over 10 years for the new H2Ohio fund.

The Office of Budget and Management forecasts “slow but steady growth over the two years, with $23.99B in General Revenue Fund revenue in FY20, $24.39B in FY21, for annual growth rates of 3.9% and 1.7%.  Total GRF proposed spending over the two-year cycle is $68.98B.

Hearings on the budget bill will begin next week in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Other areas of note Gov. DeWine shared before the release of the proposed legislation:

  • There will be no tax increases in his budget, though there could be some fee increases.
  • He is creating a 10%, nonrefundable state income tax credit to individuals who invest to build business and boost employment in job-hungry, low-income Opportunity Zones carrying federal tax incentives.
  • The state’s Rainy-Day Fund will remain untouched – meaning no funds will be added or removed. The intended use of this fund is for a future economic downturn.

The executive budget "blue book," including Governor DeWine's full budget recommendations, tax expenditure report, and budget highlights can be found on the Ohio Office of Budget Management's website.

OSCPA government relations team is analyzing the very lengthy document to determine other issues of importance to OSCPA members. Watch OSCPA news sources in the coming months for more information this important topic.

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