Ending tax rollbacks, closing prisons put forward as way to fix state budget
COLUMBUS — If Gov.elect John Kasich and the incoming state legislature adapt the sweeping budget changes proposed Monday by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and eight metro chambers, there will be big changes in store for Ohioans.
“Redesigning Ohio” would save an estimated $1.4 billion during the next two-year budget cycle and billions more in the future, chamber officials said.
Release of the report comes as Republican Kasich and the new GOP-controlled legislature begin work on the new two-year budget with a revenue shortfall projected to be as high as $8 billion.
Recommendations of the report include reducing or capping property tax rollbacks, ending automatic pay raises for state employees and reducing prison costs by closing three prisons.
Gov.-elect John Kasich, through spokesman Rob Nichols, welcomed the report, saying the chambers “have put forth some serious ideas that deserve serious consideration.”
“I think the Chamber of Commerce’s budget recommendations are likely to be taken very seriously,” said John Green, director of the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
Ties to Kasich give the chamber report clout.