Ohio Republicans have blocked a move by Democrats to spend half the state’s $800 million budget surplus on schools and local governments, but have ideas of their own on how to spend the money – a move that could set off a confrontation with GOP Gov. John Kasich.
According to the Columbus Dispatch
, Republican state lawmakers added a provision Wednesday to Kasich’s budget review that gives them control of surplus funding instead of it being dropped into a rainy day fund automatically. Some lawmakers are pushing for at least $30 million of it to be spent on nursing homes.
But Kasich is opposed to any surplus spending, arguing that the state is just now coming off a multibillion dollar shortfall.
“Now that we begin to see some sunlight, people start thinking how we can go back to spending again,” Kasich said Wednesday. “That’s just not acceptable.”
According to the Dispatch, Kasich told lawmakers it was “understandable” they would want to spend money on crisis situations. But the governor added, “This idea that you’re out there just trying to take care of one group or another is not good.”
“I also made it clear to them that any effort at runaway spending is unacceptable and will be dealt with,” Kasich said.
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