Shame on the Republican lawmakers in Columbus who last week put political expediency ahead of good public policy by hurriedly passing legislation to put a spending cap on the state budget. They have given Ohio voters one more reason come November to end more than a decade of one-party rule in the state capital by choosing Democrats to occupy the governor's mansion and the General Assembly.
There was no pretense of debating or contemplating the potential impact of the Tax and Expenditure Limitation measure, which would limit the amount that state government spending can increase over the previous year's budget to 3.5% or the combined rate of inflation and state population growth, whichever is greater. As The Columbus Dispatch reported last Wednesday, the Ohio House and Senate both approved the legislation in less than 26 hours from its time of introduction.
How odd. The party that was behind state budgets in the late 1990s and early part of this decade that were increasing from year to year at twice the rate of inflation suddenly feels compelled to impose a spending cap on itself. Maybe it finally got budgetary religion. More likely, it acted out of political desperation.
Voters shouldn't be fooled. Public policy shouldn't change on a dime. Ohioans need to consider whether they can allow the Republican Party to continue to rule Columbus and to govern the state essentially unchecked. We believe a change is in order.
Does Crain's have the reputation as a liberal publication?