DeWine signs $3.5 billion budget


COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and members of the Ohio General Assembly announced significant investments contained in House Bill 2, the capital budget bill.

“This capital budget is all about creating jobs, growing our economy, and directly impacting the people of Ohio where they live and work,” said Governor DeWine. “The investments we’re making today impact our schools and universities, our hospitals, our parks and recreational spaces, and our communities. We know these needed investments will continue to make Ohio the best place to live, work, and raise a family for years to come.”

“The investments made in this budget will change lives and make a real difference for the people living, working and raising a family here in Ohio,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “From funding for a new behavioral health hospital in the Miami Valley to supporting cybersecurity efforts, this package addresses issues that matter to Ohioans.”

“These are not just projects, but investments in our future,” said Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens. “They will benefit not only local communities but also the region and the state, with many even having a national impact. These projects are designed for everyday Ohioans to see, use, and enjoy for generations, making everyone a part of this historic change.”

“These are projects that people will see or use every day,” said Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman. “This investment makes a real difference in our neighborhoods across the state.”

“The capital budget for Fiscal Years 2025-2026, combined with one-time strategic investments made in this bill, represents the largest support for Ohio facilities and local community infrastructure in history, generating jobs and continued growth throughout the state,” said Ohio Office of Budget and Management Director Kimberly Murnieks.

The capital budget includes a total of $3.5 billion in appropriations.

Capital budget highlights include investments to:

Improve and build mental health care facilities, including the design of a new hospital in the Miami Valley.

Build new, smaller juvenile correctional facilities.

Strengthen higher education infrastructure, cybersecurity, and workforce readiness.

Support construction and renovation in Ohio’s schools, colleges, and universities.

Support construction and renovation of local jails.

Protect public safety through investments in the design of a new state-of-the-art crime lab.

Advance firefighter training facilities with a new search and rescue training tower.

Improve and preserve Ohio’s state parks.

Enhance guest experience and support necessary infrastructure upgrades at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds.


The capital budget includes $133.5 million to continue the DeWine-Husted Administration’s efforts to build a statewide system of mental healthcare and will provide lifelines of support for Ohioans living with mental illness. This funding includes $10 million for the design and planning of a new, state-of-the-art behavioral healthcare hospital in the Miami Valley. The new hospital will add more than 200 patient beds, increasing access to care for those in need of inpatient services, while reducing the burden on hospitals in other regions of the state.

House Bill 2 also provides funding for enhancements at Ohio’s six existing behavioral healthcare hospitals, support for recovery housing so that people facing mental health challenges can receive treatment from the comfort of a loving home, and funding to expand and renovate facilities like youth centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, and educational service centers – which host programs where children learn about the importance of building a strong foundation of mental health.


Funding in the capital budget will help ensure that youth in Ohio’s juvenile correction facilities are prepared to live better lives when they reenter their communities. Based on a recommendation from the Ohio Juvenile Justice Working Group, House Bill 2 provides $130 million to allow the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) to begin the process of replacing DYS’s three large juvenile corrections facilities with multiple smaller facilities. The investment will allow for a smaller staff-to-youth ratio, creating a safer environment for youth and staff. More individualized attention will foster positive change by better tailoring mental health support, educational opportunities, and quality of life improvements. The investments will also allow DYS to support the construction and renovation of juvenile community correctional facilities.


For Ohio’s 37 public colleges and universities, the capital budget includes $397 million to be used to improve higher education infrastructure across Ohio. This comprehensive capital funding plan, endorsed by each of the state’s public higher education institutions, is an investment to prepare a skilled workforce to meet the needs of Ohio’s bright economic future.

Included in the appropriation is a $7.1 million investment into Ohio Cyber Range, a statewide collaborative network that supports cybersecurity programs. This funding will upgrade and expand the state’s cybersecurity capabilities and will improve cybersecurity education for students, preparing them to join Ohio’s growing cyber workforce.


The capital budget includes $600 million for the construction and renovation of K-12 schools as part of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s Rebuild Ohio Schools Program. Funding for K-12 schools is included in every capital budget. Without these funds, local communities would bear 100 percent of the cost of new school buildings. Through this funding, the state continues to assist local communities by helping schools create modernized spaces that are equipped with the latest technology, promote successful learning experiences, and allow students to reach their God-given potential.


Ohio’s capital budget will provide $255.1 million to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to make necessary infrastructure repairs in Ohio’s state prisons. Improvements will ensure the facilities remain structurally sound and safe for state employees and the incarcerated population. This funding will also be used for facility upgrades to specifically support the aging inmate population and those with mental health disorders. To assist local corrections facilities in Ohio, $50 million will be awarded as grants for local jail infrastructure projects and $8.9 million will support adult community-based correctional facilities.


To protect public safety and hold impaired drivers accountable, House Bill 2 allocates $7 million for the design of a new state-of-the-art Ohio State Highway Patrol Crime Lab. The current lab, which is the only state-operated lab that conducts toxicology testing to determine the amount of drugs or alcohol in an impaired driver’s blood or urine, is in an aging warehouse with worn-out infrastructure. In addition, the lab has reached its capacity and cannot expand to meet growing caseloads caused by an increase in drugged driving incidents. According to the Patrol, 44 percent of all fatal crashes in 2023 involved a drugged driver as compared to 33 percent involving a person under the influence of alcohol. A new lab is necessary to maintain service levels and protect drivers on Ohio’s roads.


House Bill 2 includes more than $23 million to construct new and improve existing firefighting training facilities. A new high-rise search and rescue training structure will provide realistic training scenarios for firefighters who respond to emergencies in various environments such as houses, apartments, offices, and industrial complexes. Funding will also be used to improve existing Ohio Fire Marshal facilities.


Open every day and always free, Ohio has the best state park system in the country. The capital budget invests $298.2 million to build on the DeWine-Husted Administration’s ongoing mission to modernize all of Ohio’s state parks. With support from previous budgets over the past five years, Ohio has already built a new state park lodge at Hocking Hills, made major upgrades to nine other lodges, and improved cabins, campgrounds, and more. New investments will support ongoing state park improvements and will allow for needed dam rehabilitation projects to ensure Ohio’s dams are safe.


Since 1886, the Ohio State Fair has called the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus home and has attracted visitors from around the state and country. The capital bill helps to ensure that fairgrounds keep pace with modern innovation and visitor expectations. Approximately $196 million will support the revitalization of the Ohio State Expo Center & State Fairgrounds as recommended by Ohio’s Expo 2050 Task Force. Funding will support necessary infrastructure improvements, such as increased Wi-Fi connectivity, while renovations and new construction will enhance the experience for fairgoers. The improvements made through this investment will ensure that all regions of the state are highlighted at the Ohio State Fair to showcase the very best the entire state has to offer.


A total appropriation of $63 million will support local projects across Ohio that offer tourism and cultural benefits for visitors and residents. This funding includes $13.5 million for improvements at Ohio’s first UNESCO World Heritage listing, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks sites. Since receiving this designation, these sites are receiving four times as many visitors, and this investment will help ensure that everyone has the best experience possible. Other projects receiving funding include the rebuilding of the Ohio River Museum, improvements at the Fort Laurens Museum, and the creation of the Poindexter Village Museum.

The state of Ohio continues to be well-positioned financially to support these capital projects and will close fiscal year 2024 with a balanced budget. Ohio also remains well under the constitutional five percent limitation on debt service as a percentage of revenue. During the DeWine-Husted Administration, Ohio achieved the coveted AAA rating from each of the three major credit rating agencies, which signifies that Ohio’s credit rating outlook is stronger than any point in history.

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