The Buckeye Institute Goes After DeWine for ‘Pork Spending’ Budget

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The Buckeye Institute slammed the newly released Ohio budget for excess spending, saying that while it commends the governor for balancing the budget, the state missed an opportunity for reform.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the budget for the state for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 on Monday, highlighting the “Investing in Ohio Initiative,” a one-time expenditure aimed at boosting the state’s economy. The initiative includes $460 million toward small business, $450 toward community building, $70 million toward growing the state’s “skilled workforce” and $50 million toward telling “Ohio’s story.”

Robert Alt, the president and chief executive officer for The Buckeye Institute, said in a statement on Monday that the budget should have been cut down.

“Governor DeWine deserves credit for balancing the state budget during the pandemic, but there is still room for improvement,” Alt said. “Now is not the time for pork spending. A government-sponsored $50 million advertising campaign should be scrapped immediately or else reallocated to relieve the small businesses that have been devastated by the shutdown orders.”

Like many other states, Ohio has been economically hit by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The state saw nearly 50,000 new unemployment insurance claims during the week ending January 23, according to a recent release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Alt said that using the state’s rainy day fund “would be a better solution rather than increasing fees on essential government services” during a pandemic.

“While many of the governor’s policies — particularly the workforce and broadband proposals can help move Ohio forward — this budget proposal missed an opportunity to undertake bold reforms on taxes, spending, education and regulations,” Alt said.

DeWine stressed in a press conference on Monday that the initiative was one-time spending, saying that it was possible due to an early freeze of state spending at the beginning of the pandemic, a reduction in permanent state workforce, careful management of federal funding and refinancing state debts.

“We made the hard choices early on to put us on stable footing,” DeWine said.

DeWine later echoed the sentiment on Twitter.

Read more about the state’s budget and initiatives here. Watch DeWine’s press conference here.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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