Monday, June 13, 2011

AFP-Ohio urges Conference Committee to Add Merit Pay and Other Provisions Back to Budget

COLUMBUS, OH - Americans for Prosperity-Ohio commends Ohio's Senate and House for passing versions of the budget (House Bill 153) that balance Ohio's budget without raising taxes and that end Ohio's estate tax. AFP-Ohio also commends the Senate for sharing the spending cut sacrifice by adding a provision that lowers legislative pay.

As the Conference Committee works to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the budget, AFP-Ohio urges the Committee to retain the estate tax repeal, keep the legislative pay reduction, and not add additional spending. AFP-Ohio also urges the Committee to restore the following provisions to the final budget:

1. The teacher performance pay provisions passed in the House version of the budget;
2. The $5 million threshold for Prevailing Wage, as originally introduced in House Bill 153;
3. The 2% shift in retirement benefit contribution from the employer to the employee, as originally introduced in House Bill 153; and
4. The Governor’s version of simplified construction reform.

AFP-Ohio further urges the Committee to adopt additional means to control future spending. As we have applauded the structure of this budget, we urge vigilance and future restraint. Applying self-imposed spending limitations could prove useful as both statements of intent and ways to hold Ohio’s policymakers accountable.

“We have seen throughout this budget process the appropriate call to fix Ohio’s financial crisis without raising taxes” said Rebecca Heimlich, State Director of AFP-Ohio. “We are on the verge of seeing that come to pass and urge continued persistence by our lawmakers. We are especially pleased that our policymakers have responded to the tremendous call from Ohioans to end Ohio’s immoral estate tax.”

“Wrapping up this budget without raising taxes, cutting lawmaker pay, and starting on necessary reforms in major areas of general revenue spending is a great step” said Seth Morgan, Policy Director for AFP-Ohio. “We’ve finally started on the journey back but have some important steps to still take. Ohio’s policy makers can be proud of getting off on the right foot.”