By Tyler Dillon
Managing Director
ProgressOhio


COLUMBUS – 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 two-year operating budget and the workers' compensation budget by the constitutional deadline of June 30.

Instead, Republicans passed temporary budgets that give zero reassurance to schools, government agencies, and nonprofits relying on State funding that resources 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.

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.” (The Plain Dealer, July 9, 2009, p.A1)

Republicans are literally going on vacation instead of working to overcome petty politics and ensure our state can provide services to Ohioans. 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.

Republican feuds have spilled over into the public arena, where legislators have eagerly aired out their dirty laundry.

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 addressed 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.”