Week in Review - 06/12/2020

Week in Review - 06/12/2020

FY20-21 BUDGET

State tax collections were $271.3 million below projections in May, bringing the shortfall for the fiscal year so far to more than $1 billion with one month to go, according to the Office of Budget and Management (OBM). Sales taxes constituted the bulk of the drop, bringing in $167 million less than expected; within that total, non-auto sales taxes accounted for $133 million of the drop, a 16.4 percent underage. Auto sales taxes were down nearly $34 million or 25 percent. For FY20 so far, sales tax collections are $326.5 million or 3.3 percent below projections of $10.02 billion. Income taxes were $91.3 million or 15.1 percent below projections for May and are $767 million or 9.7 percent under for FY20 to-date.


The Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Wednesday pegged the state's FY21 budget shortfall at $2.43 billion. Four taxes account for the bulk of the underage, with the auto and non-auto sales tax estimated to fall 13 percent below the estimates upon which the budget, HB166 (Oelslager), was based. The Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) is estimated to come in nearly 10 percent lower, while the personal income tax will be an estimated 7.2 percent lower.


EDUCATION

The Ohio STEM Committee of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced that 10 new schools will be designated as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) schools for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.


The State Board of Education rearranged its schedule Tuesday for a morning vote on emergency child care rules to enable programs under its regulation to reopen if they can meet the requirements of the DeWine administration's pandemic health orders. Meanwhile, board President Laura Kohler said ODE's legal team determined the board lacked the authority to adopt a resolution passed last month instituting pay cuts for members.


Public testimony via videoconference at Tuesday's virtual State Board of Education meeting featured several speakers calling for schools to resume in-person classes in the fall and saying mask use and social distancing would be an impediment to learning. The board itself could not reach agreement later in the day on a resolution saying local authorities should have "full power and trust" to decide how to reopen schools.