Monday, March 21, 2011

GUEST COLUMN: "Keeping State Spending Under Control"

St. Rep. John Adams
By St. Rep. John Adams

With the budgeting process now underway in the Ohio House of Representatives, I am reminded just how much money our state spends on government at the state level alone. When you have a budget deficit as big as Ohio’s, we are forced to look at ways of correcting costly errors.
In an investigative report last fall by the Toledo Blade regarding job loss, some numbers stood out. Ohio’s Department of Development employs 405 people with a budget of 1.15 billion. Indiana in comparison employs 69 with a budget of 39 million and since August of 2009 they have created 40,000 jobs while Ohio has created 7,300. In looking at additional ways to address this issue, the Ohio legislature passed a bill that would allow Governor Kasich to establish the frame work to restructure the Department of Development. Thus the first steps in reorganizing for efficiency has begun.
While Ohio must take action at both the state and local levels—certainly a difficult task—there are some things we can do to aide our state’s financial outlook that are quick and involve very little controversy. It’s these little things that can add up to quite a bit, and every penny is going to help us at this stage in the game.
That’s why I like House Bill 2, a performance auditing bill framed on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) model legislation. This legislation could eliminate millions of dollars in wasteful spending.
This bill requires the state auditor to conduct performance audits on certain state agencies on a biennial basis. Not only will we be able to evaluate the efficiency and practicality of these state funded agencies, but we can also ensure that their services are being delivered in the most practical way for the benefit of our citizens.
Through this legislation, we can make sure that Ohioans are receiving the best return for their tax dollars. It helps prevent our families from being hindered by disorganized government, and it ensures that our businesses do not have to suffer from unnecessarily high tax rates which hinder job retention.
As the House evaluates and debates more legislation concerning our economy, I will work to make decisions that will benefit the citizens of Ohio. Legislation often starts with ideas from constituents like you, so feel free to contact me with any comments or concerns you might have about Ohio’s future.