Could this happen in Ohio?
As posted here last week, the Governator is not jacking around with a recalcitrant California State Legislature as they dither over submitting a balanced budget. They’re a month late and the bills aren’t getting paid in California. So Conan has signed an executive order to reduce state employees’ pay to minimum wage. Public safety and some health employees are exempt. No word on Schwarzenegger’s own salary.
The minimum wage is $6.55 per hour. Here in Ohio, state interns make $11 per hour.
That’s how bad it is in California tonight. What’s on the Ohio budget horizon?
Many if not most state governments, including Ohio, have adopted balanced budget language into state law. That’s why our Governor Ted Strickland had to make some tough choices earlier this year. Revenues are not meeting expectations and Ohio was forced to trim over $700 million from its budget. This cutting is not easy – would you like to make the choice between this mental health facility or that veteran’s home? Would you like to have to decide which correctional facility can handle a reduction in staff – when none of them would be considered by any definition as overstaffed? These are the sorts of decisions Governors have to make.
Now, I can’t imagine that when the Governor and the next legislature get down to business on the next biennial budget in 2009 that things are going to be much better revenue-wise than they do now. Since Strickland is governor and not king, we unfortunately have to rely on lawmakers as much as Strickland.
If you look back at the last dozen or so years of Republican-led legislatures, what have they done? Until Ted Strickland showed up, nothing. They saw the writing on the wall with the 2006 election for statewide offices and started soiling themselves. They’ve worked with Strickland, but they certainly haven’t made it easy.
This November’s election is important. We need to wrest control from the do-nothing Republicans and give Strickland a Democratic legislature to work with.