Pain of state budget cuts will be felt far and wide
Posted June 08, 2017 in Press Releases
Earlier this week, the Office of Budget and Management reported that Ohio collected $67 million below projections in May. Eleven months into the fiscal year, the state’s total general-revenue fund tax collections are $840 million below estimates so far. This means deep budget cuts lie ahead.
The budget approved by the Ohio House would cut spending drastically in some places and in tiny increments across many departments. As the Senate grapples with even tighter revenue, Policy Matters Ohio outlines 12 ways budget cuts might affect the lives of every-day Ohioans.
One of the hardest hit programs is Medicaid. The House budget moves the state’s share of Medicaid expansion funds out of the budget, eliminating billions of federal dollars leveraged by those funds. It also gives the small committee known as the Controlling Board the power to determine whether or not state money can be used to fund Medicaid expansion.
“If the Controlling Board votes ‘no’ more than 700,000 Ohioans who get health insurance through Medicaid expansion will lose care,” said Policy Matters Ohio Senior Project Coordinator Wendy Patton. “Ending Medicaid expansion will also cost hospitals and health care providers billions of dollars. Jobs will be lost.”
The many cuts across agencies will curtail services that Ohioans use every-day. Customers at the Board of Tax Appeals can expect delays. The Department of Agriculture fears a lack of resources for meat inspection programs. Libraries will see a cut of millions of dollars. Transit riders can expect to pay higher fares for fewer routes as the state narrows the sales tax base, which reduces revenues for counties and transit agencies with a local sales tax levy.
“Ohio’s misguided policy of cutting taxes for the wealthiest in hopes of spurring growth has not created jobs,” Patton said. “This budget fails in too many places to adequately support services Ohioans need and depend on.”