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Ohio Governor Lays Out His Proposed Two-Year Budget

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Jo Ingles
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine has laid out his proposed two-year state budget. It sinks $1 billion into one-time spending.

DeWine says his plan would use $1 billion of federal and state funds to create the “Investing in Ohio” initiative. It’s one-time money that DeWine says will do four things.

“We will be supporting Ohio’s small businesses, strengthening Ohio’s communities, growing Ohio’s skilled workforce and telling Ohio’s story," DeWine says.

DeWine says the "Investing in Ohio" iniative includes:

  • Investing $200 million in grants for bars and restaurants;
  • Investing $150 million in grants for Small Business Relief Grant applicants, who previously applied and are qualified;
  • Investing $50 million in grants for lodging industry businesses;
  • Investing $40 million in grants for indoor entertainment venues; 
  • And investing $20 million in grants for new businesses, many of whom were unqualified to receive previous funding.

DeWine also says his budget will "tell Ohio's story" by investing $50 milliion to bring Ohioans who have moved elsewhere back home and to try to attract new residents and entrepreneurs to come to Ohio to take advantage of career opportunities and college availabilities. Upon hearing that, the minority leader of the Ohio House, Emilia Sykes tweeted her thoughts on why people don't want to live in Ohio.

When asked about the comments from Sykes and others, Governor DeWine responded saying, "Ohio is a welcoming place. I don't care who you are. We want you to come to Ohio. You know it's a progressive state."

DeWine says the state the budget doesn’t raise taxes though it will raise some fees. And it doesn’t touch the nearly $3 billion in the state’s rainy day fund though DeWine hasn’t ruled out using it in the future to address needs brought on by the pandemic.

State budget director Kimberly Murnieks says the budget shows that finances are beginning to stabilize after the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

"But we still have to be very careful to not create a situation in the future where we have spent some of the one-time revenues on recurring obligations that then create those fiscal cliffs," Murnieks says. 

Among the fees that will be increased are BMV costs for vehicle and title registration, generating an additional $127 million a year for the state highway patrol. 

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