The Ohio General Assembly introduced a $2.6 B state Capital Budget in companion bills, Senate Bill 266 and House Bill 529. The legislature generally approves a capital budget every two years with the goal of funding needed improvements to public services and facilities across the state, including schools, roads and bridges, waterways and parks.
As usual, education is the top spending priority of the state capital budget with K-12 schools receiving the largest share of funding at $600,000,000 and higher education’s 37 public colleges and universities receiving $483,000,000. Public infrastructure is a popular topic of the state of Ohio Capital Budget with $514,000,000 going to the Ohio Public Works Commission Program that funds local roads, bridges, water-supply systems, storm sewers and wastewater systems through a statewide formula. Preservation of green space, farmland, open spaces, expanded recreational opportunities, maintenance and preservation of Ohio’s dams, parks, trails, waterways and wildlife received $334,000,000 in funding as well. The rise of the opioid crisis is addressed in the state of Ohio Capital Budget. Nearly $222 million will be invested in critical health and human services funding for youth services, developmental disabilities, mental health, addiction treatment and women’s health initiatives, over double the amount spent in the last capital budget. This includes $20 million for new opioid community resiliency projects. Finally, $150,000,000 is allocated to Community Projects across the state that address to address critical economic development, workforce, arts and sports projects.
Legislative hearings are going on and the state of Ohio Capital Budget should be adopted when the General Assembly breaks for the Easter Recess.