Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ensuring a Successful Budget Review - Rep Richard Adams

Guest Column from Representative Richard Adams
Ensuring a Successful Budget Review

Each year, hundreds of new bills are introduced in the Ohio House. Many of these pieces of legislation go on to become laws, moving out of the Statehouse to affect the lives of our citizens. However, even after the governor signs a bill into law, my colleagues and I are not done with it. In fact, it is the job of the state legislature to review the effectiveness of existing laws and government policies. The legislative process is never truly over, and there is always room for more scrutiny.

For these reasons, Governor Kasich recently proposed a Mid-Biennium Review of the state budget, passed in 2011 as House Bill 153. This review process is a prime opportunity to ensure that the various provisions of the budget are operating effectively and to make any necessary tune-ups. As you can imagine, conducting an assessment of the entire operating budget is quite a weighty task. Indeed, the governor’s bill contained 2,833 pages of detailed legislation, all in need of review.

In order to make this task more manageable and efficient, the House opted to separate the governor’s legislation into 10 different bills. We cannot afford to neglect any portion of the MBR, so dividing the original bill into issue-specific legislation is the best course of action. In this way, the content of each bill will be scrutinized in the proper committee based on its subject matter by legislators with applicable knowledge and experience. Tax credits will be addressed in the Ways & Means Committee, while veterans services will be dealt with by the Veteran Affairs Committee, and so forth.

The state budget is one of the most important pieces of legislation passed by the General Assembly, and therefore, it deserves a thorough examination. In addition, the governor has included many innovative proposals within the MBR that will further the recent economic success that Ohio has experienced. Since the beginning of 2011, the governor and the state legislature have had a strong record of job creation and business development, and this review process will only enhance these gains.

The MBR can be confusing, so please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions concerning this topic. My office is always available to you as a resource, and I welcome your input as we move forward in this process.

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