MORPC Active In Ohio Budget Process
July 8, 2015
July 1 marked the start of the fiscal year for the state government, and Ohio’s recently passed biennial budget (sub HB 64) goes down in the books as the largest in history ($71.2 billion). Legislators consider hundreds of bills throughout a biennial session of the General Assembly, however no legislation is more important than the bills that constitute the state’s two-year budget.
It is through the budget that the General Assembly is able to allocate funds among the thousands of competing interests throughout the state. Involvement in the budget process by the General Assembly is mandated by the Ohio Constitution and is in effect for two fiscal years. Work on the budget occurs during the first six months of the two-year session of the General Assembly.
MORPC’s local government members are interested in developing innovative and responsive public policies that foster economic prosperity, enhance the quality of life, and secure a competitive advantage for Central Ohio. Therefore, MORPC staffers played an active role during the budget deliberation process. In order to provide our input and insight on several matters, MORPC collaborated with other groups with similar interests and educated legislators on certain issues.
One of those issues was the Service Station Cleanup Fund. Central Ohio has much economic redevelopment potential locked up in contaminated sites and remediating these locations will help future businesses thrive and create places where people want to live, work and raise a family. The program would provide critical dollars to create shovel-ready redevelopment sites by cleaning up archaic gas stations in the region. In collaboration with Greater Ohio and other leaders in the region, MORPC submitted testimony to the House Finance Committee and proposed three efficiencies that would maximize dollars and enhance the Service Station Cleanup program. These suggestions were not included in the House passed version of the budget, but after further advocacy in the Senate, all three proposed recommendations were accepted and signed in the final version of the budget.
MORPC’s Public & Government Affairs Team advocates and engages its local government members at the regional, state and federal levels. Our 2015 public policy agenda focuses on four key areas of interests:
- Promote Regionalism to Foster Economic Prosperity and Efficient Use of Local Resources
- Achieve a World-Class Transportation System for Central Ohio
- Conserve and Enhance our Region’s Environmental Infrastructure
- Promote Energy Efficiency and Affordable Energy for our Region
For more information on MORPC’s legislative activity please visit: http://www.morpc.org/government-affairs/regional-policy-roundtable/index