Coronavirus forces cut in state spending


COLUMBUS – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio will take steps to cut expenditures in state government.

“Commercial activity is slowing down across Ohio, and as a result, state revenues will also go down dramatically. It is important, as Governor, that I take action now,” said Governor DeWine. “The earlier we start slowing down the spending, the more impact it will have.”

Governor DeWine ordered an immediate hiring freeze for all agencies, boards, and commissions under the control of the Governor. The only exceptions are for positions that provide:

* a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic

* safety and security

* direct care or institutional services

Governor DeWine also ordered:

* A freeze on pay increases and promotions for state of Ohio unclassified and exempt staff.

* A freeze on new contract services for the state of Ohio, except for those services that are necessary for the emergency response.

* That state agencies work to cut unnecessary spending up to 20 percent for the remainder of this fiscal year and next fiscal year.

Governor DeWine also pulled back spending requests for a variety of projects that needed legislative spending authority.

CHILD CARE/DAY CARE:

Governor DeWine announced that any child care facility that remains open to care for children under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license must give priority to families on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Placement of children must first be offered to kids with parents who are healthcare workers, first responders, hospital and clinic staff, pharmacy staff, children service workers, adult protection workers, developmental disability aides, mental health counselors, psychiatrists psychologists, nursing home workers, elder care workers, home health care workers, and dentists.

Any remaining childcare openings will be open to other families.

Parents can enroll now. A full list of child care centers operating under the special license can be found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.