Governor Mike DeWine releases Executive Budget for 2022 and 2023
On February 1, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine introduced the Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023. According to DeWine, the Executive Budget is intended to assist the state of Ohio and its citizens recover from the economic and financial hardships faced during the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on economic growth and vitality. The budget aims to invest in Ohio’s hardest hit communities, small businesses, families and education. The following summary provides an overview of various expenditures intended to assist local and regional governments, education, and nonprofits.
Investing in Ohio’s Future: Renewed Communities
The 2022-2023 budget provides $425 million in Fiscal Year 2022 and $440 million in Fiscal Year 2023 to Ohio’s local governments and public libraries. This increased revenue is to ensure the continued stability of Ohio’s local governments and public libraries as each navigates through the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the strain felt among local communities. In addition, Governor DeWine introduced various other expenditures that will have a direct impact on Ohio’s local communities, including, but not limited to –
- Law Enforcement Investments – $30.1 million to local law enforcement to provide for increased police transparency through the use of body cameras, additional funding to communities that have shown proven crime reduction strategies, funding for recruiting and hiring of peace officers, and the expansion of Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center and Ohio School Safety Center
- H2Ohio – $242 million allocated among the Department of Agriculture to assist with nutrient, water and erosion management, the Department of Natural Resources to continue wetland restoration, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to further improve upon water and wastewater infrastructure
- Broadband Access – The COVID-19 pandemic displayed Ohio’s need for widespread broadband access and the disproportionate lack of access in many Ohio communities. The budget invests $200 million to expand access for Ohio households and provides grants to internet service providers to expand their networks.
- Keeping Ohioans in their Homes – The budget allocates certain U.S. Treasury funds, totaling $565 million, to assist Ohioans negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to assist with rent, utilities, and energy bills made available through Ohio’s Community Action Agencies
Investing in Ohio’s Future: Thriving Economy
Ohio’s economy and small businesses were hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and now face the daunting task of recovering and navigating the uncertainties the pandemic still presents. In the new budget, Governor DeWine introduced the Investing in Ohio Initiative, which includes $1 billion to assist Ohio communities, businesses and economies by accelerating economic growth and vitality.
- Sustaining Ohio Businesses – Certain economic sectors were hit particularly hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, including entertainment, hospitality, and small and new businesses. The budget allocates $460 million to provide grants to (a) bars and restaurants severely impacted by the pandemic; (b) certain Small Business Relief Grant applicants that have not yet received assistance from the state; (c) lodging industry businesses that have seen a significant occupancy reduction; (d) indoor entertainment venues; and (e) new businesses that opened their doors between the beginning of January and the end of March 2020.
- Growing a Skilled Workforce – As Ohio’s economy rebounds, the budget allocates over $50 million to assist Ohioans in accessing quality-wage careers, while also ensuring businesses have access to skilled individuals. The state will designate $15 million to support economically distressed rural and urban communities in order to establish programs to assist Ohioans reskill and pursue new employment opportunities. An additional $16 million has been set aside to assist high school students earn workforce credentials each year.
- Supporting K-12 Learning – Over $13.1 billion in funding has been allocated directly to schools and districts across the state of Ohio. This funding is intended to give students access to learning opportunities that were missed due to the pandemic, assist with the development of learning recovery plans, support child nutrition programs, and promote high quality professional development and school improvement initiatives.
- Prioritizing Higher Education - In addition to addressing K-12 initiatives, the budget will increase the Ohio College Opportunity Grant by $500 to make college more affordable, provide at least 2,000 new scholarships through the Choose Ohio First scholarship program, and increase the State Share of Instruction institutional subsidy by 1.8 percent.
For a more in-depth look into Governor DeWine’s proposed Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, the budget recommendations, highlights, and fact sheets can be found, here.