State budget set to dominate Ohio legislature, governor in 2023| Thomas Suddes

Thomas Suddes is a former legislative reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and writes from Ohio University. [email protected]

The biggest task for Ohio’s next general assembly will be the preparation of a new state budget for the two years beginning July 1, a budget that will be designed in cooperation, or so it is hoped, with the administration of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

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That assumes the governor and Republican lawmakers will be singing the same anthem about state priorities, which isn’t guaranteed.

The governor will set his priorities in the proposed budget, which DeWine must submit within four weeks of the inaugural session of the general assembly (which will be held on January 2nd).

The Legislature will discuss DeWine’s plan during hearings and debates in the House and Senate, and then in a Senate House conference committee where some of Ohio’s best shell games will be played. The roughly 2,000-page document then lands on DeWine’s desk for his signature and vetoes.

Thomas Suddes

When Columbus is tight on money, it’s easy (or at least not that hard) to say “no” to all the agencies and lobbies that want more government spending than a governor is proposing.

But when Ohio’s coffers are awash with cash — as it now seems — it’s harder to say “no” and easier and more politically rewarding to say “yes” to additional spending.