Gov. Mike DeWine signed a two-year budget deal which included $172 million for improving the water quality in Lake Erie, but he hopes more money can be pumped into that fund at the end of the biennium.
DeWine's original proposal was to frontload funding for clean Lake Erie initiatives by creating the H2Ohio Fund and putting $900 million in for the next decade.
Instead, lawmakers put $172 million into the H2Ohio fund for the next two years. DeWine says he wants to take any surplus, which has been going to the state’s rainy day fund, and put those funds towards Lake Erie.
“Which enables us to have that money in the future and so it’s really like having money in the bank in that sense where we would not have to spend that in the third or fourth year if we already have the money set aside,” said DeWine.
DeWine says the next item on his agenda is to talk with Lake Erie experts and to map out a strategy on improving the water quality.