State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) was joined today by State Representative Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) to announce the findings of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Military Affairs Task Force. Maj. Gen. (retired) Paul Sullivan, Brig. Gen. (retired) Richard Green, Col. (retired) Cassie Barlow, and Steve Tugend, who served as members of the task force, were also present for the announcement.
The committee, which met over the course of eight months and visited 13 different military posts around the state, unveiled their recommendations to help make Ohio a leader in military affairs for the nation. Central to the report are two recommendations: to create a state-level Office of Government and Military Affairs, and to create a funding line in the state budget for investments.
“Ohio needs an office of support that will wake up every morning knowing what is going on with our military assets here in Ohio and know what is going on in D.C.,” Perales said. “Here in Ohio we already have offices focusing on subjects such as education and Medicaid, it is time we have one looking out for our warfighters and the communities around them. It’s a no brainer.”
The proposed Office of Government and Military Affairs would operate as an independent state agency that reports to the governor. The agency would be charged with developing a strategy for military installations within Ohio in order to maintain the number of jobs the installation provides, as well as to ensure continued funding for projects at Ohio military bases.
Another main focus of the Office of Government and Military Affairs would be to place Ohio at the forefront of military development as determined by the federal government.
The second recommendation of the committee, creating funding within the state budget, will help make Ohio’s installations stronger and more valuable. The process for determining funding should follow a cost-benefit analysis focused on military value and economic feasibility of the project, ultimately ensuring that Ohio can get the most out of its military investments.
Rep. Perales has introduced House Bill 696, which spells out the task force’s proposal so that the Ohio House can begin considering the recommendations for law.
For a full version of the report issued by the BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force, click here.
The press conference can be viewed in its entirety by visiting: http://www.ohiochannel.org/video/press-conference-discussing-findings-of-the-base-realignment-closure-task-force