Friday, June 04, 2010

Budget Solutions Disregarded by Ohio House Democrats

COLUMBUS –The Ohio House of Representatives majority Democrat caucus yesterday deprived Ohioans of a legislative measure that would immediately work to address the budget deficit and make specific recommendations to address the state’s projected $8 billion budget deficit.

Rep. Gardner (R-Bowling Green), spoke to an amendment that requires the State Budget, Planning and Management Commission to meet a minimum of six times between July 1 and November 30 in an attempt to provide answers and find budget solutions.
“This measure enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate. However, the House Democrat caucus stands alone in opposition to this effort to finding a solution to Ohio’s state budget crisis,” Gardner said. “The vote for this amendment was supported by both Senate Republicans and Democrats, and enjoyed unanimous support by the House Republican caucus. It is unfortunate that some members in the 128th General Assembly would rather bide their time until November before rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on our budget woes.”
Specifically, the commission was established last summer in the state budget bill and has failed to meet even one time since then.
“Isn’t it remarkable that one out of four caucuses can paralyze the legislative process from finding answers to our multi-billion dollar budget shortfall,” House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) said. “As lawmakers, we are responsible to ensure that honest, open discussions occur in the sacred institution of the people’s house. However, it is quite disheartening to know that since the House passed the state’s biennial operating budget more than a year ago, time and again the majority caucus has silenced Republican debate on good government legislation like this measure.”
The General Assembly agreed to create the commission due to the pending $8 billion deficit in the next budget, which was caused by a heavy reliance on one-time state and federal money and a refusal to tackle important budget reforms.