Senator Coley: Balanced Budget, Streamlining Government Among Accomplishments In 2011
Balanced Budget, Streamlining Of Government Among Accomplishments In 2011
This year is one where I have been given the honor of completing my service to you in the Ohio House of Representatives and beginning my service to you in the Ohio Senate. This year also marked one of the most productive periods in the Ohio Senate's history, as my colleagues and I worked to pass a number of policies and initiatives designed to address the many challenges facing our state. As we prepare to start the second half of the 129th General Assembly, I thought I would take this opportunity to recap some of our major accomplishments from 2011 that are helping to put Ohio back on track. From the start of this legislative session, one of our top priorities has been fostering a business environment in Ohio that is conducive to job creation and retention. To that end, we established the JobsOhio plan - a new, non-profit corporation that will focus exclusively on bringing and keeping jobs to our state. We also approved tax incentives that are helping to retain companies here in Ohio instead of being lured away to another state. These changes are helping to boost our business climate and have made us one of the top five states for job creation. We are also taking steps to ensure that state rules and regulations are not so burdensome on employers that they hinder their ability to operate in Ohio and create new jobs. The passage of legislation creating the Common Sense Initiative Office will give state officials new tools in dealing with customers and determining whether a new regulation will have an adverse impact on small businesses. These changes will allow companies to focus on growth and expansion rather than government red tape. One of our biggest accomplishments was the passage of the state budget earlier this year. I am pleased to say that we managed to put together a balanced budget that eliminated a multi-billion shortfall without raising taxes while continuing to provide essential services to Ohioans. In addition, the budget also retained an income tax cut worth $800 million to taxpayers, put an end to Ohio's estate tax beginning in 2013 and included reforms to areas such as Medicaid and prison operations that will allow them to reduce costs while improving efficiency. Members of the Ohio Senate also took action this year to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in Ohio, eliminated several unfunded mandates for our school districts, required performance audits of state agencies to streamline operations and uncover wasteful spending, and approved an overhaul of our criminal sentencing laws. Although we have achieved much this year, much work remains. I look forward to working in the weeks and months ahead with my fellow lawmakers as well as business and community leaders on other changes that will continue the progress we have made in creating a brighter future for all Ohioans. As always, please feel free to contact my office if you have questions or concerns about any of the matters we are discussing at the Statehouse. I can be reached at (614) 466-8072, via e-mail at or by writing me, State Senator Bill Coley, 1 Capitol Square, 1st Floor, Columbus, OH 43215.
Senator Coley represents the 4th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses Butler County. For more information, please visit
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