COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Republican Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference Tuesday after signing the state’s capital appropriations budget bill, which will determine the fate of billions of dollars in Ohio.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and several cabinet directors joined DeWine for the conference at 11 a.m., according to the governor’s office. DeWine confirmed starting around 11:12 a.m. that he had already signed the bill.
The legislation in question, House Bill 687, would also authorize the state to take on $2.28 billion more in new debt, according to an analysis from the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. In total, the bill allocates $3.51 billion in funds for the 2023-2024 fiscal two-year period. DeWine said that most, if not all of the bill’s spending, will be paid in cash.
Speaking generally, DeWine said that the bill will pay for improved mental health care and noted $15 million dedicated to improved state parks. It also covers infrastructure projects, construction and renovations at state schools and colleges and school safety improvements. The bill’s spending also aims to enhance prison security and build facilities for firefighting training.
Tax incentives for the coming Ohio Intel manufacturing plant also come up in the bill. The plant already had $1.2 billion earmarked in grants and infrastructure investments, according to the state development department. Analysis from the OLSC indicates HB 687 could change what tax incentives are available to “megaprojects,” meaning Intel could be eligible for more of them, which “could decrease state revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars across several fiscal years.”
View a fiscal breakdown of the $3.51 billion in question from the OLSC below: