State Senator Peggy Lehner paid a visit to Huber Heights City Council Monday to keep council members informed about the state budget process in Columbus.
Lehner, who represents the 6th District, told council the budget soon will move from the House to the Senate and that the budget “prioritizes education and higher ed,” she said.
“It also focuses on workforce development. We have a changing workforce. The needs we have today are not the needs we had 20 years ago. The priorities of the state need to reflect that.”
Lehner said the governor’s version of the budget had almost $1 billion set aside to fight the opioid crisis.
“This is a major crisis and it has to be addressed,” she said.
“The other thing this budget does, which is a little bit intriguing, is that it really emphasizes technology and innovation. The governor is suddenly very, very high on a number of types of innovations, one being the driverless car and technology all around that. So this budget as introduced deals with Ohio getting in the forefront of some of that industry.”
Lehner told council members that a plan to centralize collection of local taxes, an issue Huber Heights and many other municipalities have opposed, has been taken out of the House version of the budget and that she would work to keep it from reappearing in the Senate version.
Also Monday, council passed resolutions that:
- Authorized the city manager to award contracts for the 2017 street paving program.
- Authorized the city manager to award contracts for the 2017 sidewalks program.
- Authorized the city manager to solicit requests for proposals for the design of the city water softening project.
Council also heard about potential travel plans for future educational events for council members and staff. They included:
- A National League of Cities conference in Cleveland, Ohio, June 19-21. Council Members Janelle Smith and Richard Shaw, both who serve on National League of Cities committees, have requested to attend the event.
- The National League of Cities annual conference, to be held in Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 15-18. Smith, Shaw and Council Member Glenn Otto expressed interest in attending the conference. The city can save on costs by registering before June 1.
- The Ohio Municipal Clerks Association annual meeting, to be held in Cleveland in July. Huber Heights Clerk Tony Rodgers, who is secretary of the state organization and is on the group’s board of directors, plans to attend the meeting.
The Huber Heights City Council will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, May 8 at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.
Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.