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· November 16, 2011

Kasich’s capital budget to deliver another blow to local governments

Enacted every two years, the state’s capital budget represents a mostly bond-funded spending package to support the construction and maintenance of brick and mortar assets. Typically, each capital budget sets aside approximately $100 million for what are known as “community projects.” These earmarks are requested by local officials and inserted into the legislation by sponsoring Representatives and Senators, providing assistance for cultural facilities, parks and other civic projects. The General Assembly works closely with the Governor’s office to prioritize projects to fit within the available funding limits, but a new report in Gongwer indicates that Governor Kasich is now requesting that no projects receive funding in the upcoming capital budget bill. According to an October report from Gongwer, pending requests for the upcoming capital budget include:
  • $5 million for the Great Lakes Science Center-NASA Visiting Center in Cleveland
  • $3 million for the Gordon Square Arts District in Cleveland
  • $3 million for Central Riverfront Park in Cincinnati
  • $7.2 million for the Lucas Multi-Purpose Arena in Toledo
In all, Cleveland and Cuyahoga County jointly requested $24 million, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber asked for $27.52 million, the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce requested $16 million, and countless other requests from cities and counties statewide are currently sitting on the desks of legislators. If the Governor’s wish to remove locally-requested projects from the bill is fulfilled by the General Assembly, communities around Ohio will be denied one more tool that they had hoped to use to advance important community and economic development efforts. This step only compounds what were already severe cuts in state funding enacted in the state’s operating budget.

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