Along with the main state operating budget, which was passed and signed into law last summer, Ohio passes a series of other budgets that more narrowly focus on certain areas of interest. These include budgets pertaining to transportation and workers’ compensation. Earlier this week, the state’s capital budget bill was introduced into the state legislature.
The capital budget provides for the capital and infrastructure needs of the state, including state parks, universities, and correctional facilities. State capital funds are also used to support upgrades to school facilities and local infrastructure, and a small portion is directed towards community improvement projects.
The most recently introduced budget, Senate Bill 310, is a product of close collaboration between the Governor, Ohio House and Ohio Senate totaling $2.6 billion across the state. Just as important, it is a direct response to the interests and needs of local leaders and community members across the state. In almost all cases, state funding is only part of the money needed, with local communities also putting money forward to fund a project important to the area.
Community improvement legislation is only made possible because of prudent budgeting and fiscal responsibility. The progress Ohio has made, in large part due to a more competitive tax structure and reduced regulatory climate, has worked to our state’s benefit by attracting more entrepreneurs and stronger job creation, which allows us to make greater investments in communities large and small.
I was proud to work on behalf of the 91st House District to ensure funding for projects like community parks and workforce development measures. Some of those endeavors include the MARCS Tower project, the Clarksville Fire Training Center, and aviation infrastructure improvements to Wilmington Air Park, among others. I will work just as hard to make sure all of these projects and funding remain part of the bill, which I expect to have on the governor’s desk by the middle of May.
Just like any other budget, the capital proposal includes a lot of numbers. That probably comes as no surprise. But I think budget proposals are best defined by what they represent for real people—the people who work hard to provide for their families and make our state run each day. I think this year’s capital budget makes the kinds of investments that will help our state move forward in a stronger position to provide resources for students, job-seekers and families.
Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.