By Jason Warner, GOPC Manager of Government Affairs
On March 15, Governor Mike DeWine unveiled his two-year budget recommendation to the state legislature, releasing a budget blue-print that calls for total spending of $68.985 billion in Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.
Beyond spending, the budget has evolved over the years to represent the single-largest policy document the legislature enacts during any given general assembly. This year’s budget proposal continues that tradition, with Governor DeWine outlining his policy priorities, including:
Investing in children to help the youngest Ohioans get the best start in life
Inventing in efforts to fight mental health and substance use disorders so Ohioans can lead fulfilling, healthy lives
Investing in Ohio workers and in innovation and technology to spur job creation so families can prosper
Investing, preserving and protecting Lake Erie and all of Ohio’s waterways, so that all Ohioans have access to clean water and outdoor spaces for generations to come
While those may appear to be very broad goals, the budget itself lends more specifics to what the administration hopes to achieve.
Specific to Greater Ohio’s work, the budget outlines a number of policy goals, including:
The Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) will be working to assist Ohio communities in building infrastructure as a foundation for economic development as well as providing assistance in mitigating abandoned industrial and residential properties within these communities.
Greater Ohio’s 2019 Policy Platform has emphasized the need to increase new opportunities for job growth and development by redeveloping brownfields, and we look forward to working with the administration and lawmakers towards the establishment of a new Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund that is designed for long-term stability.
The administration has also proposed to invest in businesses in Ohio by established Opportunity Zones for economically-distressed communities by conforming Ohio tax law to include the opportunity zones established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Furthermore, the administration has proposed a 10% nonrefundable tax credits based on investments made in Opportunity Zones to promote investment in these areas, and is proposing to set aside $30 million per year for the program.
Ohio has 320 federally-designated Opportunity Zones, which were identified by local communities as having high potential for new investment, development, and job creation. Located and large and small communities across the state, this is a welcome development on the part of the state to draw attention to these investment opportunities.
Greater Ohio will continue to monitor these proposals, as well as work towards a number of our own policy priorities throughout the budget process, which will continue through the end of June. Be sure to check back for periodic updates throughout this busy and fast-moving process.