Columbus, OH—The State Senate today passed their proposal for the upcoming FY 2020-2021 Ohio State Budget. In response, the following quote can be attributed in full or part to Kristy Meyer, Vice-President of Natural Resources Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:
“This budget proposal maintains many positive things that will help improve our water quality and increase our access to public lands. We appreciate the work of Senate President Larry Obhof and the Ohio Senate on those issues.
“The initial funding for the H2Ohio is a great start and we hope to see long-term, dedicated funding for water quality—to fulfill the H2Ohio program as proposed earlier this year. Strong accountability measures should be put in place to ensure a good investment of public dollars that will achieve water quality improvements.
“We are pleased to see funding for our nature preserves and $47 million for the purchase of the AEP ReCreation Lands. We urge the State Park Fund line item be reinstated in conference committee to include a one-time $25 million dollar infusion to update and improve our Park system.
“However, all of the investments in conservation are meaningless with the Senate’s addition of its SB1 regulatory reduction provision that threatens the ability of the state to protect the health and safety of all Ohioans. We are also calling on lawmakers to invest in $1.1 million to fund the state’s census efforts so that we can have a complete count in 2020—something that Senator O’Brien offered as an amendment and was rejected by the majority party.
“The OEC Action Fund continues to work with lawmakers to ensure that Ohio’s land, water, air, and democracy are protected for this budget and beyond."