G2G hosted a live discussion with Ohio Budget and Management Director Kim Murnieks, Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), and House Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) in early December. Dolan shared that capital projects will be in the capital budget that was delayed since April when COVID surges hit the state. The panel stressed the need to limit spending in the FY22-23 state operating budget and advised advocates to include both the House and Senate as well as the administration in conversations about funding initiatives. They also said to be prepared to talk about coronavirus, how dealing with it, and how will deliver services post-COVID. Dolan and Boggs urged advocates to convince board members and/or persons who have benefitted from services to speak directly with lawmakers, as it is most meaningful.
Dolan said the first priority for the budget will be addressing the pandemic and ensuring that the budget is balanced at the end of FY21. Boggs added they will likely have to fight hard to continue the $700M in wraparound social services for students the governor launched in the previous budget cycle. Murnieks said DeWine has been clear that he is committed to wraparound services for students, and those programs will be funded in some form in the administration’s budget recommendation.
The panel also discussed education and specifically, HB305, the “Cupp-Patterson Plan,” a K-12 school funding overhaul, which passed the House in late November with broad bipartisan support. Dolan believes the bill is promising but likely lacks the clarity and urgency necessary to pass the Senate during lame duck, stating there is a good foundation to work from but there are tweaks that need to be made.
Boggs noted the COVID-19-induced recession has been different from recent recessions as more women have lost jobs than men. The greatest number of job loss is in home health care workers, service industry, teachers, nurses while in previous recessions it is typically construction, manufacturing and financial institution jobs that are lost. She added it is important to think about how we get women back to work and that question cannot be answered without addressing childcare, which will be a key issue for her caucus.