The DeWine-Husted Budget: A Reaction to My Proposed Agenda and Unintended Indictments of the Status Quo
Fundamental reforms simply seems like a bridge too far for the DeWine-Husted Administration
Matt A. Mayer / January 31, 2023
With Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s rollout of the DeWine-Husted Administration’s latest budget, we already can see how my announcement of exploring a run for governor in 2026 is impacting policy decisions. Not surprisingly, there is A LOT of new proposed spending in their budget, when Ohioans would benefit from a spending freeze as I propose so we can eliminate the state income tax and Medicaid expansion as rapidly as possible. They not only double-down on more spending, but actually expand Medicaid even more—it already has 3.5 million enrollees (74% the size of Ohio’s private sector) and swallows 50% of state funding.
The biggest reaction in their budget is to my long-time criticism, backed by jobs and population data (see the pictures at the bottom of this thread), that their policies and JobsOhio are only benefitting the Greater Cincinnati and Columbus areas. In his budget remarks, Gov. DeWine stated:
“While we have had so many successes and everyone is excited about Intel, I have heard from a lot of people outside of Central Ohio who ask, “What about us?”…We simply don’t have enough shovel-ready, development-ready sites for the kind of calls we are getting from companies all over the world…We want ALL regions of the State to participate in Ohio’s economic revival — and for all Ohioans to prosper from it. Every region of the State has good sites, however, many of them are not yet ready for development.”
“”While we have had so many successes and everyone is excited about Intel, I have heard from a lot of people outside of Central Ohio who ask, “What about us?”…We simply don’t have enough shovel-ready, development-ready sites for the kind of calls we are getting from companies all over the world…We want ALL regions of the State to participate in Ohio’s economic revival — and for all Ohioans to prosper from it. Every region of the State has good sites, however, many of them are not yet ready for development.”
“In our budget, we will invest an additional $150 million to create new Innovation Hubs in regions throughout the State. These hubs will bring together each community’s strengths to encourage more economic development and attract the very best talent.”
“In this budget, you will see growing investments to expand what’s working — to all 88 counties…”
Beyond trying to deal with my criticism and agenda, Gov. DeWine’s statement frankly is a severe indictment of JobsOhio. After all, what exactly has JobsOhio been doing with the billions it has spent over the last decade if it hasn’t been helping make ALL of Ohio “shovel-ready”? And to be clear, nothing about Licking County was “shovel-ready” for Intel; rather, the land had to be acquired and prepared, water and road infrastructure has to be built, and $2,000,000,000 in government funds had to be promised to get a company in deep crisis to pick Ohio. “Shovel-ready” is little more than an Obama-era slogan with no real meaning.
Nonetheless, I’m glad pressure from me and others around Ohio has finally got our leaders to focus on counties outside Columbus and Cincinnati. Instead of spending billions, however, all of Ohio would be far better served and more attractive to businesses if its overall economic environment was more conducive to business growth: a right-to-work law; no state income tax; lower local taxes; far fewer regulatory burdens; better access to inexpensive, reliable natural gas energy; and better infrastructure like a world-class airport that facilitates cheaper and more efficient business and personal travel.
In two other places, Gov. DeWine reacts to the agenda I issued last Thursday:
- “We also must do more to help the families involved in the child welfare system.”
- See my agenda under the heading “Solve the 4pm-to-8am Problems Harming Our Kids” where I talk about finally solving the 4pm-to-8am problem including “we must do better by those who need help most, especially our kids in foster care.” Unlike the DeWine-Husted proposal, however, I don’t think the answer is creating ANOTHER big government department; rather, I think the answer is using our resources more strategically and effectively.
“To reach more students and to provide better training for 21st Century jobs, our budget will invest $300 million of one-time funding for capital improvements and equipment for career tech education.”
- See my agenda under the heading “Re-Balance Ohio’s Higher Ed, Tech, & Trade Schools & Require Use of Standardized Tests for All Admissions” where I note: “We simply must do more than give lip service to tech and the trades in our K-12 system. The 21st century economy has opportunities that don’t require a college degree.
Gov. DeWine threw out two sobering statisitics:
- “But tragically, today 40 percent of all Ohio 3rd Grade students are not proficient in reading — 40 percent!”
- “Sadly, Ohio ranks 39th as a state in the most recent CMS overall Quality Star Ratings.”
[LFC Comments: This is a VERY serious indictment of Ohio’s public schools. Our research into the proficiency scores of Lake County schools tells us that the WOKE agenda has taken priorities over the academics of actual teaching. There are some shining examples of quality in education, such as Kirtland schools. However, for the most part it appears the Lake County school districts are more worried about “keeping secrets from Mom regarding a child’s personal pronoun”, and letting the confused little Johnny or Billy use the girls bathroom or locker room.]
As with his unintended critism of JobsOhio, these statistics are indictments of failed Republican policies. After all, other than for four years when Democrat Ted Strickland was governor, Republicans have contolled the executive and legislative branches entirely, in many years with supermajorities. Yet, Ohio still lags behind in these and so many other key rankings. That is why my agenda contains the bold, innovative fixes to stop the insanity of doing more of the same.
Unlike other governors and my agenda, the DeWine-Husted Administration does not propose to allow all state education funding to follow the child, thereby freeing parents and their kids trapped in poorly performing schools and incenting schools to do better or lose their students. Fundamental reforms simply seems like a bridge too far for the DeWine-Husted Administration.
The Ohio General Assembly would do well to ignore most of the DeWine-Husted budget proposal and instead adopt the policies laid out in my bold, innovative agenda you can read at www.ohiomatt.com.