The fight over raising the state’s gas tax has been hard fought between the Ohio Legislature and Gov. Mike DeWine. Does he expect an even bigger battle is ahead over his two-year state operating budget, which has big money for addicted and mentally ill Ohioans, low-income families and children?
DeWine says the fight over the transportation budget isn’t foretelling a fight over the general budget.
“No, no, just the opposite," he says.
DeWine goes on to say he and lawmakers were surprised by the extent of the state’s transportation woes.
“This was tough because I don’t think people realized how bad of a situation we were in. It took a while. It took a while for everybody to understand that situation. Our biggest disagreement was not whether we fixed the problem. Our biggest disagreement was how far down the road were we going to fix it for," DeWine explains.
But there is already early disagreement - DeWine’s budget is $700 million more than lawmakers are being advised to spend. It also doesn't contain tax cuts which Ohio lawmakers have included in budgets in recent years.