State leaders fight further local cuts PDF Print E-mail
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor   
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 11:41
File photos. Tim Brown & Randy Gardner (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Grassroots government has shouldered its share of the pain to balance Ohio's budget, according to local officials.
And Friday, two state legislators promised members of the Wood County Township Association that they will defend them against future cuts to the Local Government Fund.
Former county commissioner Tim Brown, who was sworn in Monday as state representative, assured township officials that he will take the message to Columbus that local governments should not bear any more of the burden.
"Local governments have been cut enough. We've done our fair share," he said.
As county commissioner, Brown watched the funding from the state be cut nearly in half, by approximately $1.5 million annually.
Randy Gardner, who is moving from a seat in the Ohio House to the Ohio Senate, said he had already made it clear to the governor and Senate leadership that he is opposed to any more cuts to the Local Government Fund.
The governor will introduce the budget in early February, however, the details won't be ironed out until months later, Gardner explained.
The state is in better shape than two years ago when it faced a $8 billion deficit, he added.
However, several budgetary concerns remain unresolved at the federal level. The "fiscal cliff deal" reached last week by Congress was very temporary, Gardner said. And if the sequestration goes into effect, "significant" cuts may be passed on to states.
"The fiscal cliff issue is really hanging over our heads," he said.
And uncertainty over the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act is also looming, he added.
But overall, the state's budget status looks less grim than two years ago.
"Our economy is stronger, which helps our budget," Gardner said.

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