Ohio Republicans: Politics Above Ohioans (and Party)
The last time Republicans held the budget hostage, schools, adoption agencies, and child-care providers were hurt
Repeating their failure with the Ohio Transportation Budget, Ohio Republicans once again blew past deadlines to fund the State government. Due to politics, egos, and petty bickering, Republicans Governor Mike DeWine, Senate President Larry Obhof, and House Speaker Larry Householder failed to pass a 2-year budget by the constitutional deadline of July 1.
Instead, Republicans passed temporary budgets that give zero reassurance to schools, government agencies, and nonprofits relying on State funding that funding will be there long term. While Republicans may tout that their two-week interim budget continues current spending levels, the fact remains that the uncertainty leaves schools and government agencies unable to adequately plan.
While it is unknown how the uncertainty will harm Ohioans, the last time Republicans held the budget hostage the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported “Adoptions across Cuyahoga County are frozen, child-care providers are in danger of closing and school districts are having problems drawing up budgets with the next school year creeping closer each day.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer; July 9, 2009; p.A1)
“Instead of overcoming petty politics and ensuring our state can provide services to Ohioans, Republicans are going on vacation,” said ProgressOhio Managing Director Tyler Dillon. “In less than six months, Republicans have failed three times to pass a budget on time because to them, political squabbles take precedence over their own constituents. No other unified state legislature has been this incompetent so fast.”
Petty egos have driven these delays, as evidenced by:
- During the gas tax fight, when Republicans were arguing over how much to raise Ohioans’ taxes, Householder told Senate Republicans “you’ve got to put on your big-boy pants, you’ve got to pull your binky out of your mouth and you’ve got to make tough decisions.”
- Senate Finance Chairman Matt Dolan (R) accused House Republicans of hiding “written amendments”
- Householder then claimed he was “totally surprised by comments”
- Householder correctly pointed out that the Senate Republican budget is a “rob from the poor and give to the rich kind of thing”
- DeWine publicly attacked both of his own party colleagues, criticizing inaction on Saturday by declaring, during sensitive negotiations,“The legislature has an obligation to keep our government funded and operating.”