In light of the recent actions of the Controlling Board, State Representatives Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) and Ron Young (R-Leroy), will soon introduce legislation to limit the Board’s expenditure authority.

The major role of the Controlling Board is to appropriate excess funds received from the federal government. The Board’s actions are in every case limited by the legislative intent of the General Assembly.

The recent controversial actions of the Board raise serious questions about the separation of powers as defined in the Ohio Constitution. Since legislative intent is in some cases subjective, another mechanism to limit the power of the Board must be created. Therefore, Representatives Hagan and Young will introduce a bill this week designed to place caps on the amount of money the Controlling Board may appropriate.

Specifically, the legislation will limit the ability of the seven-member Controlling Board to act as the sole arbiter in authorizing major expenditures. Representatives Hagan and Young’s legislation will place the following limitations on the Controlling Board’s expenditure authority:

• For funds received in excess, the bill limits the Controlling Board to authorize up to only 3.5 percent of what has already been appropriated by the General Assembly.

• For unanticipated funds, the bill limits the Controlling Board to authorize only 1 percent of the total appropriation for the agency that will be responsible for administering the fund.

• In emergency cases where the Controlling Board must move quickly, the bill also allows a unanimous vote of the Board to allow the appropriation of funds above the caps.

“It is essential that we fight for the rights of our constituency's voice not to be ignored or limited when making serious financial decisions on behalf of our state's future,” said Representative Hagan. “The people of Ohio are represented by 132 members of this General Assembly and decisions should be reflective of the whole legislative body/the majority of the legislative body. Our legislation would help ensure this is the case.”

“Ohio finds itself in the midst of a constitutional crisis,” said Representative Young. “We believe the Controlling Board has usurped the constitutional power of the General Assembly to appropriate and spend the people’s money. Major spending decisions must be left in the people’s House and Senate, not transferred to this small and obscure administrative board.”

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