Ron Amstutz, the ranking minority member of the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee, and a member of the budget deficit commission, submitted this comment exclusively to Third Base Politics re: the announcement of planned meetings to discuss solutions to the budget black hole facing Ohio.
“It was an idealistic idea to create a proactive budget commission to begin addressing the known problems in the budget from the time it passed last July. Unfortunately, this has been by far the most dysfunctional two year period in state government since I joined the legislature in 1981. That dysfunctionality has spilled heavily into the budgeting process. However, the only viable way to salvage this extremely valuable and needed budgeting tool is to try to rise above the bickering, distrust, and other dynamics holding this whole thing back.
We can try to save the philosophical arguments for the campaign trail and for post election decisions on finalizing a report. That’s a tall order in election season, but the need to get some serious budget savings programs under way very soon is too important to our state’s future not to give it a best effort.”
A very honest statement. A mixture of optimism, realism and cynicism. And that’s warranted considering the behavior of House Democratic leadership the past two years.
Since Ohio’s Governor refuses to offer any solutions, let’s hope the commission can get something accomplished.