Ohio next budget gets first public meeting

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At 1:30 PM today I'll be participating in the first meeting of a six-member budget planning commission that was created almost a year ago with passage of the current two-year state.  It was known then that the dynamics enacted in the current operating budget set the stage for an extremely difficult budget that will need to be ready for executive recommendation in about eight months.

Today's first meeting has a modest goal -- to organize and hear a general budget presentation from the budget office of our Legislative Service Commission.

In some ways this commission is like the Conference Committee on the Budget.  In other ways it is almost the opposite.  It is similar in that it is made up of six members -- two Senate and House majority party members and one Senate and House minority party members. But this commission's assignments is to develop early-stage direction for addressing the problems in the next budget.  It is working at the very beginnings of the budget-making process.  In these ways it is opposite of the work of the Committee on Conference, which meets at the very end of the budget process and with the assignment of reaching an agreement on a final version of the budget to send to the governor.