As the Ohio House of Representatives enters the next stage in state budget deliberations, House Democratic leaders today warned that GOP economic policies are blowing a hole in the Ohio budget and threatening the economic stability of working people and families.
“Six years of Republican tax shifting and cuts brought us to the ‘verge of a recession,’ and now are threatening to take us over Ohio’s fiscal cliff,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the Democratic leader on the House Finance Committee. “Working families in Ohio are already feeling the pinch of GOP property tax and sales tax increases. We cannot let partisan ideology destabilize our budget and the future economic growth of our state.”
Tuesday’s news conference comes on the heels of troubling news reports that revealed Ohio is facing a half-a-billion dollar budget hole after state revenue estimates missed the mark yet again in the month of March. The Democratic Caucus says that shortfall is even bigger, likely closer to one-billion dollars after looking to past July 2016 Kasich Administration revenue revisions of some negative $280 million.
The lawmakers today said the news, coupled with records showing that 2016 was the worst year on record for job creation and job growth since the Great Recession in 2009, raise serious, legitimate questions regarding the impact of Republicans’ continued commitment to trickle down, tax shifting economic policies. Even with limited job growth many new jobs pay poverty wages, adding to the Buckeye State’s grim job market outlook where close to one-third of all jobs pay below poverty wages.
“During the worst global economic recession since The Great Depression, Republican lawmakers called for the state budget director – at the time, a Democrat – to step down,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “In the governor’s own words, Ohio is now on ‘the verge of a recession’. However, we are not demanding pink slips be delivered today. Instead, we believe that state leaders must take steps to recession-proof the state by investing in communities and schools, rather than approving yet another round in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.”
House Republican lawmakers are expected to unveil an updated version of the state budget in the coming weeks.