The state ended fiscal year 2012 with $235 million in its pocket, and the governor is socking it away for a rainy day.
Healthy tax-revenue growth and under-spending in Medicaid left the state with a surplus when the books closed on June 30. The state rainy-day fund, which had just 89 cents in January 2011, now has $482 mil-lion — 1.8 percent of the general revenue fund.
Of course, the 89 cents the State had in their to begin with was generously left by Kasich's predecessor, the disgraced, failed and all-around unsuccessful Ted Strickland, after he raided the fund to "balance" his last budget in 2009 (read, kick the can down the road).
But ever since reports started to come out that Ohio might end the year in the black--something liberals apparently aren't too keen on--Democrats have been begging that the governor spend any and all dollars they might have:
But Democrats argue that the state shouldn't wait to funnel more money to schools, cities, and other local governments.
"We need to act now and not, as some of you have said, kick the can down the road," said Rep. Debbie Phillips (D., Athens). "Our communities are suffering now. We're losing teachers out of the classroom and professionals in our community that help protect the public safety on a daily basis in Ohio."
Unfortunately, Rep. Phillips and the rest of her Democrat colleagues are is playing a little fast and loose with reality, since Ohio communities have actually netted jobs over the past year. In addition to advocating for fiscal sanity, the Dispatch today also highlighted that local communities aren't doing as bad as Democrats would have you believe:
No doubt, school districts and local governments feel the reduction in state dollars, yet they hardly are crippled; according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio has gained 5,600 local-government jobs in the past year, under Kasich’s budget.Despite the constant barrage from the liberal propaganda asserting that Kasich's budget gutted local schools and communities, these entities have actually netted jobs. And this after Strickland set them up for a fall in 2009 by, as the Dispatch put it, "plung[ing] Ohio’s budget into an $8 billion hole by draining every source of cash and folding every available federal stimulus dollar into the spending plan, heedless of the fact that those revenue sources wouldn’t be available for the next budget."
But despite this reality, Ohio Democrats have said Kasich's policies show a "callous disregard" for local communities. Yet, Kasich's budget has netted jobs at the local level. Where were the claims for callous disregard when Sykes passed the "People's Budget" in 2009, which cut library funding, hospital funding and funding to primary and secondary education.
That's right, Strickland cut state funding to public schools--the very same funding that Governor Kasich increased this biennium.
Not that Ohio liberals will concede as much. Their disconnect from the real world shows Democrats have a callous disregard for the facts.
Cross-posted at GOHP Blog.