Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Fixing Ohio's budget
Just a quick update for now.
You can read a brief summary of the governor's proposed budget here.
The key points:
- K-12 education is actually slightly increased, which should be great news to school districts and teachers. Federal "stimulus" funds included in the last budget is not replaced, of course. But the basic funds coming from state tax dollars have been spared the ax.
- Other education reforms include bonuses for well-performing teachers and testing of non-performing ones, expanding school choice and charter schools.
- Local government funding takes the biggest hit. All the more reason why the reforms in Senate Bill 5 are so necessary in order for local governments to be able to better manage their costs.
- College professors are going to be asked to teach an additional course every other year. Universities will be able to use single prime contracting, a process that saves construction costs.
- $1.4 billion in Medicaid cuts.
- 5 prisons will be sold and privatized. This will provide money up front and also continued operation savings in future years. High-security, dangerous prisoners will remain in state controlled prisons.
You can download the entire budget here.
Also, tonight the governor is hosting a public town hall which can be viewed at www.OhioChannel.org.
Liberals are already complaining about the cuts to state government. Of course, we already knew they would complain and criticize whatever spending was cut. I'd be interested to see their alternatives that don't raise taxes, but so far, none are forthcoming. Just grumbling.
This is definitely a reform budget, to go along with a reform agenda to fix the state we are in.
This is the kind of leadership we needed on the budget 2 years ago. Thankfully, we have someone now who isn't afraid to talk to us like adults and make the hard choices.
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