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Kasich proposes budget including $4.5 billion for higher education

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Under the new state budget proposal released Tuesday, state colleges and universities, including Ohio State, will be limited to a 3.5 percent tuition increase.

Gov. John Kasich released what he is calling the “Jobs Budget” proposal to Ohio Tuesday afternoon. The budget proposal covers the next two fiscal years, July 2011 through June 2013.

The total budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is about $55.5 billion, which was exceeded by the estimated state general revenue fund by $180 million, according the budget proposal.

“This budget is woven with one reform after another,” Kasich said in a press conference. “It is, as I would guess, the most reform-oriented budget presented in modern Ohio history.”

 

The proposal included $4.5 billion for higher education, comprising 8.1 percent of the total budget. President E. Gordon Gee released a statement about the new budget, commenting on the importance of sustaining higher education.

“I am grateful to Governor Kasich, whose proposed budget reflects the unquestionable financial challenges of the day, as well as the understanding that higher education and our state’s long-term strength are inextricably linked.” Gee said. 

Kasich said the main goal of the budget was to create an environment of entrepreneurship for job creation in Ohio. He said it was very reform-oriented and that this is something he has been working on for several years, even before he was elected governor.

“The budget proposal I am unveiling today allows Ohioans to take an important step forward together toward regaining our footing, getting our state back on track and creating the jobs-friendly environment necessary to get folks working again,” Kasich said in a press release.

Another change in the budget proposal is the sale of five state prisons, which will bring in $200 million in revenue. This will save an estimated $27 million in savings by cutting down overhead costs.

Arguably the largest hit of the budget is to local government, which will be cut by 25 percent per year. 

Kasich is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting with constituents tonight at 6 p.m. to discuss the budget. 

 

“Now more than ever, it is clear that our shared future lies in sustained investment in education, creativity and innovation, all of which directly fuel economic growth,” Gee said.

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