Report Warns of Impact of Federal Budget Cuts

Columbus Dispatch - September 7, 2011

Columbus Dispatch

A report from an Ohio think tank warns that federal funding cuts could have “harsh” consequences for the state of Ohio, which relies on federal dollars for nearly a third of its budget.

The report by Policy Matters Ohio finds that many of the programs the state has relied on during tough economic times are largely supported by federal dollars. Federal funding supports 82 percent of the budget of the Ohio Department of Aging, 74 percent of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction, and 68 percent of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The report also finds more than $4 billion federal dollars in the current state budget goes to Ohio schools; $3 billion to the state Department of Corrections and almost 20 percent of the Department of Agriculture is federally funded.

The report is released the same week a committee of 12 House and Senate members, including Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, begins work to cut an additional $1.2 trillion out of the federal budget. Congress already agreed to nearly $1 trillion in cuts as part of the Budget Control Act passed Aug. 2.

If they fail, the federal budget will face automatic cuts to federal discretionary programs.

UPDATE: A spokesman for the governor says the federal government should reduce spending.

“The $1.3 trillion federal deficit isn’t a product of political courage but of the illusion that bigger government is the only answer to big problems,” said Scott Milburn, a spokesman for Kasich. “In Ohio, Gov. Kasich and the General Assembly closed an historic $8 billion shortfall by a combination of restraint and reform. Washington would do well to emulate that strategy.

“The governor would urge federal officials to not only reduce spending—which is essential—but to also reform needed government functions so that they both spend less and perform better.”


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