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Cirino Bill to Secure Local Budgetary Security Passes Ohio Senate

September 27, 2023
Jerry C. Cirino News

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Senate today passed Senate Bill 158, legislation sponsored by Senator Jerry C. Cirino (R-Kirtland) to guarantee that a local city council can maintain control over its budget and protect its appropriation power.

“Senate Bill 158 simply protects the budgeting powers of municipalities across Ohio by reinforcing their statutory authority to make financial decisions," said Cirino. "Council members are the duly elected representatives of their city. It is their duty and responsibility under the law to appropriate city funds to care for the safety and security of their fellow residents.”

Cirino says Senate Bill 158 is essential to safeguard the budgeting authority of city councils and cities' financial stability. For instance, the City of Cleveland is facing an initiative to allocate 2% of its budget to be spent by an unelected, unaccountable board. That 2% represents nearly $14 million, which could fund the entirety budget of the Department of Public Health, the entire budget of the Building and Housing Department’s budget, or more than 7 times the budget for the Department of Aging.

Ohio law requires appropriation decisions be made by a municipal corporation’s legislative authority. Senate Bill 158 strengthens the law, ensuring that the statutory budgeting authority of these governing bodies cannot be circumvented. Senate Bill 158 maintains the lawful fiscal authority of elected city councils.

Senate Bill 158 now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives.