This week Governor Mike DeWine announced $775M in spending cuts for state government. The cuts are in response to the slowdown in economic activity and reduction in tax collections (down $863M since March) as a result of the COVID-19 stay at home order. The governor said the spending cuts will be implemented over the next two months and will target:
- Medicaid spending ($210 million),
- K-12 foundation payments ($300 million),
- Other education line-items ($55 million),
- ODI ($1 million)
- BWC ($15.6 million)
- Higher education ($110 million),
- All other state agencies ($100 million).
In addition, the Gongwer News Service reported that slightly more than 61,000 Ohioans filed initial claims for unemployment compensation last week, according to the Department of Job and Family Services.
The total, while still extremely high by historical standards, represented a drop-off of about 32,000 compared with the previous week. ODJFS reported the total for the past seven weeks, 1,118,569, is just over the 1,117,457 combined total for the previous three years,
ODJFS said it has sent more than $1.9 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 536,000 Ohioans over the seven-week period.
In a bit of good news, the governor announced Thursday that more of Ohio’s economy will be cleared to reopen under safety guidelines next week.
Restaurants and bars can reopen for outside dining on May 15 and for inside dining on May 21. Guidelines for reopening will include maintaining space or barriers between tables and parties, limiting waiting areas and requiring customers to self-monitor for symptoms when entering.
The governor said hair salons, barber shops, day spas and similar businesses will be cleared to open May 15.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Jeff Smith at (614) 552-3056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.