account... Restoring Ohio’s fiscal foundation is the proper goal
Ohio’s fiscal integrity after years of ruinous overspending is
will take time. Gov. John Kasich is working on that by putting all
from the recent end of the fiscal year in the state’s rainy-day fund.
easy, on the other hand, is for state Rep. Vernon Sykes to accuse
“callous disregard,” for not spreading that money around to school
and local governments whose budgets are squeezed because of previous
state aid. The Akron Democrat said, “To simply continue to put money
rainy-day funds overlooks the need that is out there.”
No. What it
does is establish that Kasich is serious about stewardship of Ohio’s
official, including Sykes, should know the basics of sound public
Government Finance Officers Association advises governments to keep a
reserve in the bank for emergencies. With the addition of the surplus
closing fiscal year, Ohio’s reserve now is at $482 million — less than
worth of spending.
Kasich started his term with 89 cents in the fund, that’s an
be proud of. But it’s still well short of a healthy savings account, at
percent of the general revenue fund. Debt-rating agencies require an 8
reserve for their highest rating, and the finance officers’ association
recommends 16 percent.
on a prudent fiscal course for the state can’t fairly be labeled as
better describes the actions of former Gov. Ted Strickland and the
legislature, who together plunged Ohio’s budget into an $8 billion hole
draining every source of cash and folding every available federal
dollar into the spending plan, heedless of the fact that those revenue
wouldn’t be available for the next budget.
shortsightedness created budget time bomb.
school districts and local governments feel the reduction in state
they hardly are crippled; according to data from the U.S. Department of
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio has gained 5,600 local-government jobs
past year, under Kasich’s budget. Most of those gains have come since
local governments, along with families and individuals struggling
sluggish recovery, need long-term solutions to tight budgets. This has
include refocusing priorities to keep spending within revenues.
them a quick handout, setting them and the state up for another cycle
deficits and drastic cuts, wouldn’t help anyone.
and other articles at the Columbus Dispatch