Ohio House Democrats are raising concerns over the “fiscal stability” of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s $69 billion budget proposal released Friday.
House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) said that while her caucus was “encouraged by the governor’s commitment to supporting Democratic policies of investing in families, maintaining access to quality, affordable health care, and cleaning up Lake Erie,” she had concerns about the proposal’s “fiscal stability.”
“We have serious concerns regarding the fiscal stability of the current proposal. We can’t build a budget on broken economic assumptions or wishful thinking. We need to be honest and realistic about where new spending comes from,” she continued.
Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the House Democratic budget panel leader, said he was “heartened that the governor is stepping up on a number of issues Democrats have been pushing,” but had similar concerns about its “fiscal assumptions.”
“That promise is sacred, and it can’t be built on shaky economic ground or faulty fiscal assumptions. The governor is proposing investments, but it’s unclear where the additional spending will come from,” he said.
Cera went on to claim that “investing in education and children is important,” but the state needs “to be realistic about [its] fiscal responsibility to taxpayers.”
“We cannot continue to shift taxes onto middle class families to fund tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires. We need to look at ways we can modernize our tax system to benefit working people, invest in local communities and grow our economy,” he continued.
Ohio House and Senate Republicans so far have said very little about DeWine’s budget proposal, but the conservative-leaning Buckeye Institute raised concerns with its sustainability.
“Like Gov. DeWine, The Buckeye Institute wants a budget that is sustainable and keeps Ohio on a path to economic prosperity, and our recent report on budget principles outlined how policymakers can best achieve that goal. However, The Buckeye Institute has serious reservations about the sustainability of a budget that increases spending by seven percent over the next two fiscal years,” the group said in a press release.
“We are concerned that when economic conditions take a negative turn, revenues decline, and Medicaid costs rise, policymakers will be forced to make deep and painful cuts as they had to do in the early 2000s,” The Buckeye Institute continued.
Read more of The Ohio Star’s coverage of DeWine’s budget proposal here.
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jack Cera” by Jack Cera. Photo “Emilia Strong Sykes” by Emilia Strong Sykes.Background Photo “Ohio Capitol Floor” by Joshua Rothaas. CC BY 2.0.