Amy Hanauer

Amy Hanauer is executive director of Policy Matters Ohio.

Recent Articles

Buckeye Budget Blues

Ohio has all the reform elements in place -- except political will.

In Ohio, decades of deindustrialization, a tax-cut strategy pursued with nearly equal zeal by both parties, and the deep recession combine to create a severe fiscal nightmare. There are some promising glimpses of momentum building for a smarter, more progressive approach. But despite a swing toward the Democrats in recent years, fundamental reform has yet to materialize. Ohio faced a budget shortfall of $2.6 billion in fiscal year 2009 and a shortfall of $3.3 billion in fiscal year 2010. Last summer Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio legislators cobbled together a deal that relied on much-needed federal fiscal relief to states, more than $2 billion in excruciating budget cuts, and a scheme to allow video slot machines at horse-racing tracks in this traditionally anti-gambling state. However, the Ohio Supreme Court said the gambling extension required voter approval through referendum, forcing lawmakers to play another hand. Ohio Democrats, who took over the governorship in 2007 and the Ohio...