Ohio Senate Passes Their Version of the State Budget

The Ohio Senate passed their version of the state budget, House Bill (HB) 33. The legislation maintains the Public Library Fund (PLF) percentage at 1.70% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) in permanent law. The overall spreadsheets from the Legislative Service Commission (LSC) estimates the PLF distribution at $505 million in FY24 and $530 million in FY25.

To put this in perspective, the committee revised their state revenue estimates and included about $58 million more in state-only GRF money for FY24 and about $43 million more for FY25. However, the overall Senate spending totals for the budget remain below House-proposed levels by more than 2 percent in each fiscal year.

Also, the Senate made additional changes to the State Income Tax and Commercial Activities Tax (CAT) – both of which go into the state’s GRF. According to the LSC Comparison Document, the PLF will be impacted from these changes and receive less money in each fiscal year:

Income Tax Changes on PLF
$11 Million Less in FY24
$15.5 Million Less in FY25

CAT Changes on PLF
$3 Million Less in FY24
$6 Million Less in FY25

Welcome Home Ohio Program
$1.7 Million Less each FY

Overall, this means the PLF could receive about $39 million less over the biennium.  A copy of the LSC Comparison Document and Appropriation Spreadsheets are available on the LSC website.

OLC submitted written testimony last week in the Senate Finance Committee. A copy of that testimony is available on the OLC website. After the Senate passes their version of HB 33 today, the bill will go to a Conference Committee to work out the differences between the House & Senate versions. At that time, the state will update their overall revenue estimates again for FY24 and FY25.

Call to Action and Talking Points

We need library directors, fiscal officers and boards of trustees to reach out to both your State Representative(s) in the Ohio House and your State Senator(s) in the Ohio Senate. We need you to call them, email them and/or text them. We are approaching the final two weeks of the state budget discussion, but we need your help!

Please reach out to them and utilize OLC’s talking points on the state budget bill. Urge them to:

  • Fund the Public Library Fund (PLF) in permanent law at a minimum of 1.70% of the total GRF. It is estimated that the proposed Income Tax changes and Commercial Activities Tax changes will indirectly reduce the PLF by almost $39 million over the biennium. We are respectfully asking the General Assembly to increase the PLF to offset those reductions.
  • Provide facilities funding to public libraries for emergency needs and critical repairs. Unlike other local governments and schools, Ohio’s public libraries did not receive direct federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). We are respectfully asking the General Assembly to use the state’s additional one-time funds to support public libraries with funding to address emergency needs and critical repairs for roofs, elevators, HVAC systems, flooring and security systems.