Week in Review - 07/12/2019

Week in Review - 07/12/2019

FY18-19 BUDGET

The state of Ohio ended FY19 on June 30 with tax revenues $651.1 million over estimates, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Office of Budget and Management (OBM).FY19 tax revenue exceeded that of FY18 by over $1 billion. A total of nearly $23.5 billion was collected over the course of FY19 compared to $22.4 billion in FY18. Total tax receipts finished June $34.3 million or 1.6 percent over the estimate for the month established by OBM at the beginning of FY19 and exceeded June 2018 total tax receipts by $22.8 million.

 

FY20-21 BUDGET

Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) responded to a recent comment Gov. Mike DeWine made to the Columbus Dispatch saying that he has urged House and Senate leaders to deal with their differences over tax breaks for small businesses in a separate bill rather than in the budget in order to move passage of the measure along. Sykes said, "We have a constitutional obligation to pass a responsible, balanced budget, and rushing a bill through that guts critical tax fairness provisions without considering the fiscal impact on our state's bottom line is not only irresponsible, it's reckless."


Not surprisingly, NFIB Ohio, which has opposed the House-passed version that trimmed the small business deduction, issued a statement in support of the governor's proposal. Roger Geiger, NFIB Ohio vice president and executive director, said, "Small business owners across Ohio stand with Gov. DeWine's call to move forward in passing Ohio's operating budget without changing the business investor deduction. NFIB agrees it is time to adopt a budget with no new tax increases. As the economic engine that creates two of the three new jobs in Ohio, small business owners appreciate the strong stance of Gov. DeWine that raising taxes on small businesses in the state would be a mistake at this time."


House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) met on Monday morning, July 8, while House Finance Committee Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) were scheduled to meet that afternoon to further discuss budget bill HB166 (Oelslager), Obhof told reporters Monday. "I would expect some variation of one or both of those meetings to happen everyday until we have a resolution," Obhof said following the Senate's non-voting session. "I feel good about where we're at today."


Gov. Mike DeWine told reporters Thursday that he was confident a resolution would be reached regarding the state budget soon, stressing that both the House and Senate versions were "good budgets" and consistent with his goals regarding the addiction crisis, supporting young people and early childhood programs, water quality, Lake Erie and job training. "It's time to get a budget, and I'm happy that they're talking, they're working," DeWine said. He said he's been in regular contact with Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) but "the job of the governor is to weigh in early and to weigh in late" and they are in the middle of the process.


EDUCATION

Following Monday morning's committee meetings, Superintendent Paolo DeMaria updated the board on several issues, including Success Bound, the Ohio Department of Education's grant-funded in-demand job promotion program; the superintendent's proposed goals for the upcoming school year; and the lingering education issues left on the table in the biennial budget bill HB166(Oelslager), which has not yet cleared the General Assembly despite a July 1 deadline and the start of a new fiscal year.


At the suggestion of President Laura Kohler, the State Board of Education (SBOE) Tuesday delayed the vote on the resolution increasing the compensation of SBOE members to cover time spent preparing for the board's monthly meetings until the September meeting. The resolution was rereferred to the Executive Committee for revising in light of the day's discussion, with Kohler noting that there was no time urgency for addressing the issue. Under a ruling from the attorney general's office, any compensation increases would not apply to current SBOE members.


Reps. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) called an informal briefing Wednesday to give more explanation and field questions on the details of their updated school funding plan, recently introduced as HB305 (Cupp-Patterson). The representatives also recently released revised district funding simulations based on the updated plan. The two acknowledged imperfections in their plan and repeatedly implored those identifying them to offer suggestions, not just critiques.


EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT

The nation added 224,000 jobs in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday, but the unemployment rate and number of unemployed persons showed little change, remaining 3.7 percent and 6.0 million, respectively. BLS said the "little or no change" was also present among all major worker groups and the number of long-term unemployed, or those jobless for 27 weeks or more. Currently, that accounts for 1.4 million people and 23.7 percent of all the unemployed.