State lawmakers moved to pass a last-minute cash infusion for counties and local transit authorities today, on the heels of a new state auditor report showing worsening financial stability for local communities across the state.
"Last minute lawmaking won't make up for the seven years and over two-billion dollars in cuts to local programs and services that taxpayers and businesses rely on," said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). "Now, as many communities across the state are facing deteriorating financial conditions, it's too little, too late from Columbus."
The last-minute amendment to House Bill 69, unrelated legislation, would divide $50 million between 88 counties and eight regional transit authorities with the potential for an additional $30 million at a later date if the state's budget is running a surplus. The amendment fails to identify where specifically the money comes from.
The effort reflects a broader acknowledgement of new budgetary problems for local communities created by the state earlier this year when the governor and lawmakers failed to find a long term fix for the state's Medicaid managed care sales tax, which generated some $200 million per year for local communities. By instituting a new fee on care providers that goes directly to the state, the governor and Republican lawmakers did, however, ensure no state funds were lost due to tightening federal restrictions on the nearly decade-old Ohio Medicaid tax.