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Hamilton County approves 2014 budget

Hamilton County Commissioners approved the 2014 general fund budget Wednesday.

The $204.1 million spending plan was nearly unchanged from the plan presented by county administration. The only difference being redirecting $6.65 million in indigent care levy funds from the UC Medical Center to cover a gap in the Sheriff's inmate care budget.

Though he unsuccessfully tried to include several policy initiatives and additional funding for infant mortality reduction, lone Democrat Todd Portune did vote for in favor of the budget, making the vote unanimous. The board now turns its focus to the sales tax stadium fund.

Commissioners also approved a resolution supporting the Port Authority's plan to expand its statistical boundaries from 26 miles to more than 200 miles along the Ohio River. It's a small but important step, the port still needs to hear from other jurisdictions along the corridor. The port says a bigger boundary area will make the region more attractive to businesses.

Finally, Commissioner Portune introduced a resolution calling on the county to encourage the Port to stop moving forward on the City of Cincinnati's parking privatization plan. The county can't really tell the Port to stop, so the resolution is mostly symbolic. Commissioners Monzel and Hartmann indicated they support the idea but want the county's legal team to review the resolution before they'll consider voting on the document.

Here's the 2014 budget proposed by county administration:

Here's the amended language offered by Commission President Monzel, which was included in the final budget:

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.