Like a train whistle in the distance, the state of Ohio Capital Budget is traveling toward the Ohio Statehouse.  Public comments from the Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder and Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof indicate they are making plans for the Ohio General Assembly to accept applications for regional projects interested in gaining Community Project funding through the state of Ohio Capital Budget.  House Speaker Householder indicates House applications maybe due as early as late November 2019—indicating a state capital budget introduction in January or February of 2020.  The Ohio Office of Budget and Management released their long-awaited capital budget guidance for the upcoming capital budget to state agencies recently as well indicating Governor Mike Dewine is preparing for the capital budget introduction as well. 

Whether it is arts, theater, sports, hospitals or local governments, there were 800 individuals registered as lobbyists for the previous capital budget, this piece of legislation is always one of the most anticipated in each General Assembly. Gaining funding from the state capital budget is a highly competitive process. 

Sample of Cities with Registered State Government Lobbyist

A lot like the state operating budget, the capital budget is passed every 2 years, in the second year of the General Assembly. The capital budget is the piece of legislation where the State of Ohio appropriates resources to state owned infrastructure as well as other government purpose projects called community projects. Community projects make up only a small amount of the on-average $2 billion capital budget, but these appropriations generate the biggest focus from the legislature. 

Community project funding can be awarded to projects which meet the definition of bondable by the State of Ohio. For example, a new joint venture with your local community college, university, or career tech school for a workforce training center to help train and retrain individuals for jobs of the future would qualify for community project funding.  Parks, arts and culture projects are another good example of a qualifying project. Creating a new space in your community to honor first responders or helping to improve a local museum or theater to offer additional educational opportunities are good examples. 

If you break down the types of community projects into category types the biggest recipients of awarded projects include arts/culture, economic development/workforce, parks, and general infrastructure. (See chart below)

The average project award can vary based on projects and the overall amount appropriated. You can see the average community project award has decreased from approximately $600,000 in FY 2015-16 to just over $300,000 in the last capital budget of FY 2019-20

Communities all across Ohio have infrastructure needs and the capital budget is a great place to advocate for state support for each communities’ priorities. 

Each capital budget there are approximately $1.2 billion in request for community project funding, with the average appropriated amount being approximately $150 million. This creates a lot of competition and having a good plan with local support and the right representation to help promote and advocate for your communities’ priorities is key to being successful. 

Contact Dave Robinson at drobinson@montrosegroupllc.com or Tim Biggam at tbiggam@montrosegroupllc.com if you have questions about gaining funding from the state of Ohio capital budget or other lobbying needs.