Ohio lawmakers finally reached an agreement on a two-year state budget July 17, two-and-a-half weeks after the June 30 deadline, which includes the creation of a number of new programs and important investments in Ohio’s future.
The Ohio Senate today gave final approval to House Bill 166 by a vote of 33-0. Hours later, the Ohio House voted to reject the Senate changes to the budget, setting the stage for conference committee negotiations to iron out a final agreement on the main operating budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
The enactment of the so-called Affordable Homebuilding and Housing Act will subsidize unnecessary urban and suburban sprawl and fuel economically and environmentally unsustainable development across the state of Ohio. At a time when the state has an abundant supply of available housing and the lowest rate of population growth in thirty years, it simply does not make sense to incentivize this dangerous build-up at the expense of local governments. It is for this reason that GOPC opposes these provisions and is urging lawmakers to reject this cookie-cutter policy and leave such decisions up to local policy makers.
I wish to draw the committees attention to five issues which either are currently a part of HB166 or which GOPC believes should be addressed as part of HB 166. We believe that these recommendations build on Ohio’s recent success by recognizing potential, leveraging momentum, connecting people to places, and reviving our most important assets to ensure a Greater Ohio.
The Ohio House gave final approval yesterday to a nearly $69 billion two year budget plan. House Bill 166 is now before the Ohio Senate, where lawmakers have been conducting informal hearings on the budget since late April. The final budget agreement must be approved and submitted to Governor DeWine by June 30 and will take effect on July 1, when the new state fiscal year is set to begin.