DeWine: State must balance budget in the next two months, cuts inevitable

DeWine feat Amy Acton
Posted at 2:01 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 15:46:30-04

The state of Ohio will be making budget cuts over the next two months to fill a state budget deficit of nearly one billion dollars, Gov. Mike DeWine announced during his Tuesday afternoon press conference.

"Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio's economy was strong and our budget was on track," said DeWine. "For example, by the end of February, state revenues for the fiscal year, up until that point, were ahead of estimates by over $200 million. That was at the end of February, for the year. We now have figures in for the month of April...we are now below the budget estimates for the year by $776.9 million."

As a result, DeWine said he is announcing a $775 million budget reduction in general revenue find spending for the remainder of 2020.

Those budget cuts will predominantly be taken from education.

Overall, DeWine announced the budget cuts will help to balance the state budget within the next two months:

  • $210 million cut from Medicaid spending
  • $300 million cut from K-12
  • $55 million cut from other education budget line items
  • $110 million cut from higher education
  • $100 million cut from all other agencies

The cuts total $775 million in state revenue overall, which DeWine said will help curb the deficit. He does not plan to utilize the state's rainy day fund yet.

"I have decided to not draw down the money from the rainy day fund for the next two months," he said. "We have decided to make cuts which will enable us to balance the budget for the next two months...Simply stated, we are going to need that money, that rainy day fund, for next year and possibly for the year after."