COLUMBUS— Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the House Democratic budget panel leader, today issued the following statements in response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s news conference outlining almost $1 billion in new spending in the upcoming biennial state budget:
“While we are encouraged by the governor’s commitment to supporting Democratic policies of investing in children and families, maintaining access to quality, affordable healthcare and cleaning up Lake Erie, the devil will be in the details.
“We have serious concerns regarding the fiscal stability of the current proposal. We can’t build a budget on broken economic assumptions or wishful thinking. We need to be honest and realistic about where new spending comes from.
“A budget is a promise, and restoring our promise as an opportunity state begins by investing in the future and modernizing our tax system to put more money back in the pockets of working and middle class people to pay the bills, send their kids to college or save for retirement.
“But, the truth is, after a decade of partisan priorities that have held children, workers and businesses back, we need a bold blueprint for our future that will correct course and restore the promise of Ohio.
“Under our current economic system that’s slanted against working people, local communities and families, Ohio’s promise of good-paying jobs and the opportunity to get ahead has faded for too many. People are working harder than ever, but seeing less at the end of the day. Communities are struggling to maintain the quality of life we need to grow and compete economically.
“We will be looking at this budget closely in the coming days to find where we can work together to invest in working families and the communities in which they live. We are hopeful that this process will remain open and collaborative, and that everyday Ohioans stand to benefit the most at the end of the day.” –House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron)
“The state budget is a promise to invest in the future, to grow our economy and to ensure everyday Ohioans have the tools they need to live better lives. I am heartened that the governor is stepping up on a number of issues Democrats have been pushing, and we look forward to working with him to strengthen Ohio’s promise of opportunity for working people. But it’s hard to look to the future without fixing mistakes from the past.
“That promise is sacred, and it can’t be built on shaky economic ground or faulty fiscal assumptions. The governor is proposing investments, but it’s unclear where the additional spending will come from.
“Investing in education and in children is important, but we need to be realistic about our fiscal responsibility to taxpayers. We cannot continue to shift taxes onto middle class families to fund tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires. We need to look at ways we can modernize our tax system to benefit working people, invest in local communities and grow our economy.
“In the coming days and weeks, we need to take a hard look at this proposal to strike the right balance for taxpayers. We’re committed to working together to get this right.” –Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire)