Persistent debate holds up budget vote
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#1 Jun 27, 2009
Everyone needs to remember we are speaking BUDGET; and the shortage is based upon PROJECTIONS of what the Governor/Legislators want to SPEND. Here's a few thoughts...
The prior Fiscal Years budgets contained something at/near 49.7Bn or 47.9BN. The Governor's Budget, when first proposed, pushed that budget UP to something like 52 or 54BN.
The "increase" came about (so it seemed) as "necessary" for the Governor's agenda, fulfillment of campaign pledges and promises. His original budget proposal included an expansion of "Free Medical Care" to children (IIRC upto 24 years of age) for any family earning up to 300 PERCENT of the "poverty line".
If poverty line was 18,000 a year, then families earning up to $54 thousand a year would be able to obtain FREE HEALTHCARE for their child. Think about it.
Over 3,000 state employees found themselves unemployed in order to help achieve the many goals found in the Governor's original Budget. Yet that was not sufficient. Further cuts continued, even though implementation of many of the Governor's "items" would require a larger work-force to dole out those services.
What we need now is a Governor who will step up to the mike and simply state the following:
"When running for Governor of this great state, I made many promises I fully intended to keep, with the co-operation of your fine body of elected officials here in Columbus.
Sadly, no matter how strongly we hold on to or grip our future plans, we must remember to face the reality around us. Our state's current and projected financial status does not and will not permit me to move forward with the implementation of my agenda, the fulfillment of my campaign promises.
Therefore, I am submitting the budget from the prior biennium, the budget utilized during the years 2007 through 2009 as our budget for the next two years. Cuts and layoffs already enacted within the state agencies combined with this budget will sustain Ohio through the next two years, without forcing us to engage in cutting services to you, the citizens of this great state.
We can revisit the budget a year from now and perhaps, if by then the financial status of Ohio has improved, I will work with your legislators and perhaps some of my promises can be enacted - if such enabling does not impact our existing provision of services.
I look forward to continuing to serve the people of this great State, standing in reality but looking ever forward to the better days soon to come.
The answer therefore is as plain as the nose on your face - "fall back" to the prior budget, let go of those aggressive and expensive dreams involving campaign promises, require ALL state entities to participate in the 3 to 5 percent pay cuts (not all have) and get out of this crisis mode.
Simple? Yes. Will it happen? Probably not.
#2 Jun 27, 2009
Ohio Citizen: That's exactly what the governor did just do. He proposed to skinny-down government rather than raise taxes, even though it means every single state government program will see a cut.
The chaos you're reading about in the papers is a result of two things: 1. The legislature is afraid to make any courageous decisions - despite republican rhetoric about "cuts". They're terrified of making special interests mad. 2. The special interests are mad because they underestimated Gov. Strickland's willingness to do the right thing in response to the recession, rather than increase taxes.
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