This week, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Jon Husted unveiled the administration’s two-year state budget, with the centerpiece being an approximately $1 billion “Investing In Ohio Initiative” to help businesses and communities recover from the pandemic. (See the governor’s press release or watch his press conference. Also, check out the administration’s “Blue Book.”)
The one-time spending proposal would distribute $460 million to support Ohio’s small businesses in the following manner:
The budget also includes $70 million for workforce development efforts. (See our story in the Workforce section of this Leadership Briefing.) Another $250 million would be used to expand broadband internet service to underserved areas and $200 million for local government infrastructure projects to help attract jobs. Around $50 million would be used in a national marketing campaign to promote Ohio as a great place to live, work and attend school.
General Revenue Fund spending would grow to $75 billion over the two years beginning July 1 — an increase of 3.4% the first year and 11% the second year — largely due to soaring Medicaid expenses. The plan contains no tax increases, but seeks a $10 increase in motor vehicle registration fees and a $2 increase to the title fee to help fund the State Highway Patrol. The state’s $2.7 billion rainy day fund would not be touched.
The Ohio House will hold budget hearings during the coming weeks. Lawmakers also will act on separate budgets for the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Commission. 2/1/2021