Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How the Proposed Budget Changes in the Legislative Process

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

In my time as a legislator, I have never voted for a budget identical to the introduced version. In the legislature, it is our job to scrutinize bills and make considerations on the impact they will have on the lives of Ohioans. Changing those bills is a normal process that generally is guided by an attempt to gain broad support for legislation. This is no different for the biennial budget, which can change as many as six times from the introduced version before becoming law.

This week we are getting a look at the changes made in the first of the possible six times the budget will change. It is not always fact, but as a matter of custom amendments to the biennial budget are usually accepted two times as one block in the House committee and two times as a block in the Senate committee. Changes are then made as a part of the conference committee where differences in the House and Senate version will be ironed out.

After each legislative body has accepted the final report of the conference committee, the biennial budget is sent to the governor for his signature in June. The governor has the last of the six traditional ways that the budget is changed before becoming law. In Ohio, our governor has the line item veto, which allows him to change portions of a bill as he sees necessary.

These opportunities for change to the bill provide the ability for the final product to be helpful to Ohioans. Our goal in passing a balanced budget is simple—we want to support measures that will keep Ohio’s economy growing. Constituents are encouraged to reach out to their representatives and senators throughout the process because that is a key factor in determining which changes are given precedence.

In the next week, media outlets will provide you details on this round of changes as they become available. I also plan to keep you informed as the budget changes and as information becomes available to me. If you have concerns about the state’s budget I encourage you to keep me informed of your opinion by completing an online budget survey by visiting By indicating your concerns I will be able to pass on information as we receive it in the legislature.

In west central Ohio, we benefit from a team of good legislators who are able to influence the budget as it moves through the process. Reaching out and informing them of your positions is the best way to impact the final outcome.

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */