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Gov. DeWine Says Help Is Coming For Beleaguered Local Governments

Bill Rinehart
Governor Mike DeWine speaks at a luncheon in Cincinnati, March 8, 2019.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says he's heard local governments' funding complaints and he has plans to help. Speaking in Cincinnati Friday afternoon at the Government Strategies lunchon, the first-term Republican says he knows the last eight years have been tough for counties, townships and municipalities.

Hamilton County leaders have said their budget woes can largely be traced back to the end of the local government fund. DeWine says the opioid epidemic has meant added expenses on the local level. "We're doing some things in our budget to help. We're doubling the amount of money going to local children's services. That's a monumental boost. Our gas tax bill would, as we wrote it, have been a significant boost to local government. They'd be able to take money that they were spending on roads and maybe put it on something else."

DeWine proposed an 18 cent per gallon gasoline tax. The House approved a 10.7 cent tax. The governor says he hopes the Senate comes up with a better measure.

On the topic of aid to local governments, DeWine says he has another announcement that will boost local governments, but he's not quite ready to reveal it. "They have a problem. We're trying to help."