Consider More Aid To Local Entities

Despite expectations the state will enjoy a budget surplus at the end of the current two-year fiscal cycle, Ohio legislators may not feel they can afford to reverse all the cuts made in state aid to municipalities and counties.

Still, as we have pointed out, it would make sense to provide more state aid to local governments facing special budget challenges of their own.

State Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, and nine other legislators have introduced a bill to restore state aid to localities to the same levels they were in 2005.

As Cera pointed out last week during a meeting with officials in Belmont County, “Our local communities are struggling to make ends meet and provide basic vital services. … enough is enough.”

Not all villages, cities and counties in the Buckeye State are facing the same challenges as those in our area, of course. As the state’s economy picks up, some local officials may have little, if any, trouble funding services.

But things are different in East Ohio and probably in many other places.

It is doubtful the bill co-sponsored by Cera (House Bill 17) will be enacted. Gov. John Kasich and many legislators are unlikely to go along with a blanket restoration of local government aid.

Still, consideration should be given to more state aid for beleaguered villages, cities and counties that are not enjoying the economic resurgence helping some regions of Ohio.