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Ohio News

Proposed Panel Would Bring Additional Verification To State's Economic Status

Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance)
Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance)

After a fiscal year that showed budget estimates were off for 11 months, a pair of Republican lawmakers wants to change up the budget-making process. They want to create a panel to look at the state’s economic forecast on a more consistent basis. This could ultimately circumvent the process around the governor’s office.

Republican Representative Christina Hagan wants to create an impartial financial outlook council that can alert lawmakers of important economic indicators, both good and bad.

Right now it’s the governor’s office that reports to the Legislature every two years.

Hagan says the there’s too much politics involved with the current process, noting how lawmakers had to scramble to fill a $900 million budget gap that they didn’t know existed until earlier this year.

“My guess is that there were certain individuals who knew that we had a significant shortfall far before the entire General Assembly had a heads up.”

Council members would be appointed by the state House, Senate and governor’s office. However, there are no spots carved out to represent whichever party is in the minority.

Copyright 2017 The Statehouse News Bureau