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The CCAO Policy Team issues alerts to members to call them to action when timely and critical issues that affect county government are moving at a faster pace than normal communications allow.

 

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February 1, 2023

 Governor DeWine Releases FY 2024-2025 Executive Budget Proposal that addresses key CCAO priorities

This morning, the DeWine-Husted Administration released its initial proposal for the biennial operating budget. The plan will be drafted as legislation and then introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives in the coming weeks. The budget includes support for many of CCAOs policy priorities, reflecting the strong support that the governor has historically shown for county government. The CCAO Policy Team will continue to dive into the details in the coming days, but some of the highlights include:

Full Funding for Indigent Defense: The Office of the Public Defender will receive increased funding to fully reimburse counties for the estimated costs of indigent defense. In FY 2024, the budget adds $22 million to the current appropriation for this purpose, and an additional $5.8 million in FY 2025.

Jail Construction and Renovation: The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s new line item, 501505-Local Jail Grants, provides $25 million in capital grants each fiscal year to local jails around the state for construction and renovation projects. These funds will supplement the $50 million appropriation in the state capital budget.

Local Government Fund: The proposal increases the Local Government Fund’s share of state GRF taxes from 1.66% to 1.70%. This change will increase LGF distributions to local governments by approximately $12 million more each year.

Next Generation 9-1-1: The Department of Administrative Services has a new line item to support Next Generation 9-1-1 services, with an appropriation of $28.18 million in FY 2024 and $17.76 in FY 2025. This funding will support equipment upgrades. CCAO will work with the legislature to address funding for ongoing operating costs.

MARCS: The Governor proposed budget allocates over $28 million dollars in FY 2024 and over $30 million dollars in FY 2025 to assist counties with MARCS user fees.

Child Care: The Governor proposed an income eligibility increase from 142% of the federal poverty level to 160% for publicly funded child care (PFCC). It is estimated this will give more than 15,000 additional children access to PFCC. A parent of two children will be eligible for PFCC while making up to $17.72/hour, up from $15.73/hour today.

Children Services: The executive budget proposes an increase of $25 million in fiscal year 2024 and $35 million in fiscal year 2025 for the state child protection allocation, which directly funds placement costs and administration for children services at the county level.

Creation of a New Department of Children and Youth: Existing programs from six different agencies will be reorganized under a new with a total budget of approximately $2.3 billion, including child care, family and children services, and early childhood education.

Senior Services: The Department of Aging will receive a one-time ARPA appropriation of $40 million for the Healthy Aging grants to help seniors stay in their homes as long as possible. These funds will flow through the commissioners who may work with Area Agencies on Aging and other local partners. Based on the department’s earlier budget requests, these funds will be focused on counties without a senior services levy.

Broadband: In FY 2024, the Department of Development budget includes several broadband deployment appropriations: $105 million in federal funds for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program, and a $267 million appropriation from the ARPA Capital Projects fund.   In FY 2025, $30 million will be made available from the Broadband Digital Equity Act Program. 

Infrastructure and Workforce: The ODOD budget also includes funding for a new “All Ohio Future Fund” to support infrastructure and attract new businesses, enhance business growth and retention, and encourage workforce development.

H2Ohio: The Department of Natural Resources’ H2Ohio line item will increase by $10 million per year over the current level to continue improving and enhancing wetlands that significantly contribute to cleaning Ohio’s waterways by restoring an additional 4,800 acres of wetlands each year. ODNR is also a partner agency in a new “H2Ohio Rivers Initiative” focusing on the restoration and improvement of all Ohio rivers and river areas across the state.

Housing: The administration’s proposal includes new tax credits for the development of low-income multifamily rental housing and for affordable single-family housing. Also, Ohioans planning to purchase a home will be able to make tax-deductible contributions to a home ownership savings account.

The details of the governor’s proposal are available on the Ohio Office of Management and Budget website.

Please take a moment to thank Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted for their strong support of counties in their budget proposal. The DeWine-Husted Administration has been very responsive to CCAO requests and has addressed many of our association’s priorities. Please contact your local media and governor’s office regional liaisons, and express support for the budget on social media and with legislators.

Thank you for all of your advocacy efforts that led to the inclusion of CCAO priorities in the governor’s budget proposal. We have a long road ahead of us until the budget is finished in late June. We look forward to working with you in the coming months to ensure that the enacted budget shows strong support for CCAO priorities.