Ohio State Representative candidate Kim McCarthy opposes the cuts in the state budget, aimed mostly against education and state support for health care, at a time when school districts across the state are scrambling to provide basic school services to their communities, and the worst pandemic in a century has killed tens of thousands of Americans in just the past three months.
“Any cuts to basic government services are wrong when they are already poorly funded, and these cuts are mean-spirited and extreme,” said McCarthy when the cuts were announced by Governor DeWine.
“Nearly every K-12 school in Ohio depends on the distribution of taxpayer dollars back to communities, and these health care cuts hurt the poorest people in the state, even while CoViD-19 is sickening and killing people.”
McCarthy also noted that “Since the failure of my own hometown school district’s levy for the second time, coupled with the recent cutbacks, ours and other local school districts have been left in an emergency funding situation. Therefore it is even more critical now that the state fulfill its obligations to fund our schools properly. Our state constitution requires it and the courts have been ordering it for over twenty years.”
Citing revenue shortfalls, on Tuesday, May 18, Governor DeWine announced nearly 800 million dollars in cuts to the state budget. The only department not affected by the cuts is the state prison system. DeWine suggested that because tax revenues are down during the current shutdown, it was necessary to cut services to the most vulnerable, despite the untouched 2.7 billion dollar Ohio rainy day fund, and despite the 200 million dollars in state revenue above expectations that had been collected as of February of 2020. Asked about the rainy day fund, DeWine said that he anticipates it will be needed in the future.
“Ohio should be using some of our rainy day fund to keep people healthy and educated. If a pandemic that has thrown millions of Americans out of work is not a rainy day, I think that the people of Ohio should be able to demand a definition of one from our government. Less than a third of the fund would close the gap, even if the governor wants to ignore the fact that much of the shortfall in revenue is a temporary result of delayed 2019 state income tax filings,” McCarthy explained.