In April, Gov. Strickland issued an executive order to reduce and control spending. In May, the office of Budget and Management estimated an additional budget shortfall would exceed $900. In response to this assessment, Gov. Strickland made the following statement:
“The national recession continues to present historic economic challenges for every state and Ohio is no exception. Even though we have reduced state government spending by nearly $2 billion this biennium, we are now faced with even steeper revenue shortages. Addressing the challenges before us will require extraordinary collaboration and bipartisan consensus-building among the state’s elected leadership. I know that we can work together to make the tough choices necessary to maintain a balanced budget while continuing to invest in education and job-creation that will lead to Ohio’s economic revival.
Did the governor mean state jobs or private sector jobs? Earlier this month, Gov. Strickland said state government must be reduced by another $2 billion to balance the budget. To accomplish this, he has closed mental health facilities and other facilities, reduce staff to Reagan era numbers, and reduced budgets of most state agencies. State employees have voluntarily sacrificed further increases in pay for several years. After all of these fiscally responsible steps, a budget deficit of $3.2 billion still exists.
I suppose that is why Gov. Strickland proposes additional cuts to local library budgets. The deficit probably accounts for a number of proposed cut is services for the poor and elderly as well.
In his last press release, Gov. Strickland repeatedly said, “We must resize the government.” Of course, he means the cuts to agency budgets and some of their personnel. What he doesn’t mean is downsizing the executive branch itself. Yet, there are concurrent bill in both House and Senate committees that will do just that. In February, Representatives Jarrod Martin and Robert Hackett cosponsored HB 25 and Senator Timothy Grendell is the sponsor of SB 52. (Where is Senator Chris Widener?) If these bills would pass, at least $2 of the $3.2 billion would be realized.
Yes, it would be limited-government advocates dream come true. The 20 cabinet-level agencies would be consolidated into 10 cabinet-level departments.
Yes, it would actually reflect the downsizing occurring throughout the private sector as well.
According to analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the bill would not “affect the provision of services by and operations of political subdivisions.” Because government is notorious for inefficiency anyway, the disruption of some services during the transition is bound to occur. Nevertheless, less bureaucracy means less waste and (god-forbid) less taxation.
Although Gov. Strickland still says he doesn’t want to raise new taxes, his comrades on Capitol Hill and elsewhere are creating a New Deal Era economic crisis requiring more taxes and more national debt to justify the enlargement of the federal powers and further the Left’s goal of a fully socialist-Marxist economy. Maybe that t is why loyal party member Strickland is in the key position in a key state.
This federally-driven economic crisis is even more reason for getting Ohio legislators to pass HB25/SB52 to consolidate the executive branch and meet the balance budget. If we can achieve it in Ohio, we can also achieve it at the federal level too. “Yes we can!”