The 132nd General Assembly is in full swing, and so is the complex process of creating and revising the biennial state operating budget. The budget is composed of a package of bills that allocates the state’s financial resources after carefully considering thousands of funding priorities. It may come as a surprise that this process takes several months, but deliberation and discussion are absolutely essential to crafting the best budget for our state.
The upcoming budget cycle applies to fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Long before the start of fiscal year 2018 on July 1, 2017, budget requests from local governments and state agencies alike pour into the Governor’s office. These requests and other relevant data help the Governor’s office and the Office of Budget and Management compile the executive budget proposal, which gets the ball rolling for the road ahead.
By late January, the budget proposal travels to the Ohio House, where members discuss possible revisions to the bills. Four important policy areas form the Governor’s budget proposal: the main operating, transportation, workers’ compensation, and industrial commission budgets. The House Finance Committee is in the midst of reviewing these proposals, aided by various subcommittees that focus on particular policy areas.
Following the House’s deliberation, the legislation is passed on to the Senate in March or April. The Senate then repeats the process of considering changes, eventually producing its own revised version of the budget package. The next step is a test of collaboration: the two chambers convene, discuss further revisions that should be made, and produce a final version to send to the Governor. The Governor must sign the final budget legislation by June 30, the last day of the current fiscal year.
Creating not only a budget, but one that is also sustainable and economical, is no small feat. In fact, it involves many different entities—from the legislature and administration to local governments and state agencies—coming together to better Ohio and consider our state’s needs and interests. As the budget process continues in full force, do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or ideas. As always, your input is greatly appreciated.
State Representative Mike Henne’s office is located at 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215. Phone (614) 644-8051, Fax (614) 719-3590.