Editor’s note: State Representative Terry Boose (R-58) released this editorial to media outlets on 1/27/2011. As a reminder, town hall meetings are scheduled on Monday 1/31/2011 (in Norwalk) and Thursday 2/10/2011 (at Lorain County JVS).
THE OHIO BUDGET FROM A LEGISLATOR’S POINT OF VIEW
Huron, Lorain and Seneca counties have suffered through the current economic crisis and we face a budget that requires spending reductions, but I am ready for the challenge of hard work and creative solutions to help create a balanced budget.
Our state constitution requires a balanced budget, but if we were to continue funding all programs in the next budget at the current level, we would have an $8 billion deficit. So I must work with other legislators to pass a balanced budget and, at the same time, promote policies that encourage employers to hire as many unemployed Ohioans as possible.
Job losses, declining company sales and a lack in funding will all be issues debated in great detail over the next five months. As your legislator, I will fight for the issues that matter most to the residents of the 58th House District.
Passing a budget is a long process that begins in the governor’s office. Governor Kasich will present his draft of the budget by March 15 to the Ohio House of Representatives and is subsequently introduced before the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. The House Finance Committee will hold hearings and listen to agencies, staff, interested parties and the general public about the merits of the governor’s proposed budget. Committee members will then vote on the bill and pass it on to the House floor for a vote by all Representatives.
Once the House passes a budget bill, it moves on to the Senate and undergoes a similar legislative process. If the House and Senate have different versions of the budget bill, a joint conference committee is created to resolve them. That committee prepares a report for both chambers’ final approval and, after passage in both chambers, the budget goes back to the Governor’s office for his final signature.
The state’s fiscal year begins July 1 so the budget must be passed by June 30, as required by the Ohio Constitution.
I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we tackle the issues most important to Ohio. Our priority this year is to create a climate within Ohio that promotes job growth and business investment while transforming and revitalizing our economy. I am committed to continuing our efforts on tax reform to make Ohio an even better place to live and raise a family.
If you have any questions regarding this issue or any other policy matter, I can be reached at (614) 466-9628, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at Representative Terry Boose, 77 S. High St., 12th floor, Columbus, OH 43215.