News

MORPC Advocates for Region during Ohio Budget Process

July 10, 2017

July 1 marked the start of the fiscal year for the state government, and Ohio’s recently signed biennial operating budget (sub. HB 49) took effect. The budget bill consists of $65 billion of allocated funds that provide the necessary financial resources for state government to function.

MORPC Executive Director William Murdock and the MORPC Government Affairs team, played an active role throughout the budget process.  Staff utilized the 2017-2018 Public Policy Agenda to navigate the various policy issues that impact MORPC members. The policy agenda reflects the collective voice of a diverse group of over 60 local governments in the 15-county region. Therefore, the agenda assists staff in finding policy stances on provisions in the budget.

“A vital component of the state’s success relies on healthy communities,” Murdock said. “We viewed the operating budget as an opportunity to collaborate with the state and also express concerns. We sought to find solutions for our members and ensure all of Ohio’s local governments have the necessary tools to thrive.”

Murdock submitted written interested party testimony to both the House Finance Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. In addition to submitting testimony, Murdock provided a letter of interest to the state operating budget conference committee. A conference committee is created when the House and the Senate pass different versions of a piece of legislation and cannot agree to concur with the amendments of the other chamber. Once the conference committee comes to a compromise, the bill goes back to the House and Senate, where a final vote is taken and the bill is then sent to the Governor for his imprimatur.

Governor Kasich signed the bill minutes before the start of fiscal year 2018, and included 47 line item vetoes. For the first time in Kasich’s tenure as governor, the House voted to override 11 of Kasich’s line-item vetoes. It is unclear as to when the Senate will take up any of these items.

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.

To read more about MORPC’s activity throughout the budget process please visit:  http://morpc.org/government-affairs/resources/index