House Bill 166, the actual legislation that includes all of the Fiscal Year 2020-21 state budget provisions proposed by Gov. Mike DeWine, was officially introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives late Monday afternoon (March 25). The OLC staff is currently reviewing the 1,810-page bill to identify all aspects of the bill that could impact public library funding or library operations. Detailed information about the budget bill and talking points for members will be released soon.
On Friday, March 15, Gov. Mike DeWine announced his state budget proposal for Fiscal Years (FY) 2020-2021. In addition, the administration released the “Blue Book” and a series of Fact Sheets related to his proposal.
The administration built this state budget proposal on revenue assumptions and they are expecting the state’s economic growth to slow. Also, there are several key observations to take into consideration:
- This proposal does NOT propose any new tax cuts.
- This proposal does NOT propose any new tax increases.
- There are only 4 policy proposals that will impact the state General Revenue Fund (GRF) tax revenues:
- Increasing the age for purchasing tobacco products and vapor products from 18-21. The Office of Budget and Management (OBM) is anticipating this may reduce tobacco and sales tax revenues into the GRF.
- Creating an income tax credit for lead abatement. It would be capped at $5 million for FY 20 and FY 21, which would be an annual estimated revenue loss to the GRF.
- Creating a nonrefundable personal income tax credit on investments in Opportunity Zones. This would capitalize on the federal tax law changes with an estimated cost of $30 million in FY 21 to the GRF.
- Allowing the Public Library Fund to stay at 1.68% of the GRF (see below).
Public Library Fund (PLF)
Gov. DeWine’s budget proposal includes funding the Public Library Fund (PLF) at 1.68% over the biennium. It is not known whether this will be included in the permanent law section of the bill or the temporary law section. This will be important for purposes of our advocacy efforts and we should know more once the bill is formally introduced.
According to the Blue Book, the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) has made the following PLF projections:
- FY19: $397,190,000
- FY20: $417,300,000 (+ 5.1%)
- FY21: $424,900,000 (+ 1.8%)
When introducing his budget, Gov. DeWine released several fact sheets about key aspects of his proposal, including the following two that address library funding and literacy initiatives:
Investing in Ohio’s Local Communities: funding local governments and communities, including Ohio’s libraries
Investing in Ohio’s Children and Families: funding Ohio Books from Birth Foundation
The budget news conference video and additional budget documents are available on the OBM website.