Secretary of State Jon Husted is telling state lawmakers and the governor his office won’t need operational funds in the next two-year state budget - and he'll ask for a 100% cut in his funding.
Husted: “We have cut the size of the staff in my office by a third and by using technology, we have been able to improve our services and cut costs. We’ve even reduced the fees we charge to start a new business from $125 down to $99 so we are the lowest cost state in the Midwest to form and operate a business. So what we have been doing is we have just been creating efficiencies. Like what’s happening in the private sector, we are doing this in government. And you can do this. This is not something that is impossible. If you want to cut the size of government and you want to become more efficient, if you want to save money, you can do it. And the bottom line is that we are not going to need any tax dollars to operate our office for the next two years.
Ingles: “You know this sounds like someone who might be wanting to run for Governor at some point in the future.”
Husted: “Well, I do want to lead by example in the sense that, let’s face it, if I had asked for an inflationary increase, everyone would have said ‘well, that’s just fine, go ahead, it’s just same old, same old.’ Well we are not going to do the same old, same old. We are trying to act responsibly. We are trying to act differently. This comes as the Governor has recently said that the budget is going to be tight and that everybody is going to have to tighten their belts. Well, we are doing more than tightening our belts. We are eliminating the need altogether for the taxpayers to fund our office for the next two years.
Ingles: “So if the legislature approves this, how much will it save taxpayers?”
Husted: “Well, we have saved 14 and a half million dollars over that time period. We went from there being a $4 million surplus to a $19 million surplus and it will save several million dollars a year over the next two years in the operation of my office. And I’m confident that this is an example that (…..I hope other people will follow.) 2:00
Husted said his office can continue to operate on funds that have been saved through past budgets and from business license revenues.