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How State Budget Delay Impacts Local Offices

The Ohio Senate met late into a Saturday night to pass temporary budget extension.
Kiichiro Sato
The Ohio Senate met late into a Saturday night to pass temporary budget extension.

Local governments are waiting on the effects from a delayed state budget. Ohio lawmakers passed a temporary budget over the weekend, because they couldn't agree on a new spending plan for 2020.

Hamilton County Administrator Jeff Aluotto says a delay shouldn't cause many problems in the short term. "In ways that the state government impacts us financially, we'd like to have some of that set before we start rolling full bore into our planning process for 2020."

Aluotto says he's watching to see if state lawmakers change how sales taxes are handled from out-of-state vendors. He's also curious about a possible increase to the reimbursement rate for public defenders.

"Given the size of our structural budget deficit, we have advanced the planning process." Aluotto says he plans to submit a budget to commissioners in September, instead of the usual October. "The sooner we know what's coming out of the state, the sooner we can start planning."

Cincinnati's city manager says a delayed state budget could mean a delay in some revenues from the state. Patrick Duhaney says council also approved $1.9 million in spending that relies on additional money from the local government fund. Duhaney says spending may need to be delayed.

The treasurer for Cincinnati Public Schools says less than half of general fund revenues come from the state of Ohio. Jennifer Wagner says "A long day could mean a shut down of government operations at the Ohio Department of Education level that could have significant negative consequences for our district."

The legislature's temporary spending measure only lasts 17 days.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.