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To create jobs, we must first reform our state spending

Spending
Photo by iChaz

It only takes a quick review of Ohio’s economy to see that the state is in trouble. The exodus of businesses to states with lower taxes and more financial viability has left Ohio with 15 consecutive months of double-digit unemployment. Ohioans are demanding common-sense fiscal solutions to boost economic growth and job creation, and throughout this General Assembly I have continuously strived to create jobs through innovative strategies.

I am committed to fixing this tough situation that has had such a negative impact on families and small businesses within the 16th House District. By pursuing pragmatic initiatives, lawmakers can help lift some of the weight of this economy from the shoulders of our community.

The “Future of Ohio” government reform package contains the sort of initiatives that will accomplish our economic goals and ameliorate our job loss. It consists of 10 bills that introduce a wide span of innovative strategies targeting problem areas within state government that contribute to Ohio’s economic maladies. Currently, Ohio government is weighted down by chronic bloat and inefficiency. By enacting government reforms, our government structure can be greatly improved through streamlining, accountability and waste elimination.

House Bill 25 is one of the bills that can really make a difference in the functioning of Ohio’s government. It seeks to consolidate state agencies, thereby streamlining state spending and making our government more responsive. As it now stands, the state’s executive branch operates 24 departments and more than 300 commissions, agencies, councils and task forces. It costs $7 billion to run this inefficient arm of our state government. As a result of its excessive size, the executive branch offers many duplicative services, and citizens find its programs and agencies hard to navigate. House Bill 25 would completely restructure the executive branch, reducing its number of departments to 11 based on similar core missions and mission statements.

House Bill 454 is another sensible reform to Ohio’s government structure. I sponsored this legislation with Rep. Richard Adams (R-Troy) to create a tax database and calculator, which would be available on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s web site and as a link on the Ohio Business Gateway. Both individuals and small businesses could use these helpful tools to review their current tax rate and potential tax liabilities. Ohioans need easy access to this information so they can be aware of how taxes will affect their income. This is especially important during the economic downturn, as many families and businesses are struggling with their finances. House Bill 454 will create a valuable resource to allow citizens and companies to plan for the future.

Now more than ever, Ohio needs the streamlining proposed by House Bill 25 and the transparency of House Bill 454, along with the rest of the government reform legislation. We cannot afford to let our government languish in inefficiency. As your voice of the 16th Ohio House District, I will continue to advocate for more accountability and fiscal discipline within Ohio’s government so our local economy can grow and prosper. As I continue to say, “It’s All About Jobs!”

 

Photo by iChaz