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State Agencies Freeze New Programs And Hires During Budget Delay

Office of Budget Management Director Kimberly Murnieks with Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted as the administration rolled out its budget proposal in March.

The Ohio Office of Budget Management is instructing state agency directors to keep a close watch on their spending during the 17-day budget extension.

The interim budget deal reached by the Ohio House and Senate continued to fund the state government at FY19 appropriation levels. This means departments could continue operations as they did up to June 30.

However, state agencies are unable to implement plans for new projects and program set to begin on July 1.

“We have asked them to look at each of their spending decisions in light of the fact that we are in this interim budget period to ensure that we are operating, but we are being conservative in our operations and not beginning anything new,” says Kimberly Murnieks, director of the Office of Budget Management.

The office has also instructed human resources departments to put a hold on any new hires unless the position is deemed critical.

The deadline to reach a full two-year budget deal or to continue the extension is July 17.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) says he met with House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) on Monday for more budget negotiations and expects more meetings all week long until a deal is reached. 

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.