COLUMBUS — The County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) commends Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly for passing the state budget bill that includes additional resources for indigent defense reimbursement, children and the Local Government Fund (LGF). Achieving full funding for indigent defense reimbursement is CCAO’s main legislative priority for the 2019-20 budget.
“CCAO is very grateful to Gov. Mike DeWine, Speaker Larry Householder, Rep. Scott Oelslager and the Ohio House members as well as Senate President Larry Obhof, Sen. Matt Dolan and the Ohio Senate members for their joint efforts in passing the bill and for their investment in counties,” CCAO President Julie Ehemann said. “The budget lays a strong foundation for a meaningful state-county partnership that will serve Ohio well and improve the quality of life for residents across Ohio’s 88 counties.”
Ehemann is a Shelby County commissioner.
DeWine proposed an additional $60 million each year to reimburse counties for their costs in providing the constitutionally mandated representation of indigent defendants on behalf of the state. The Senate maintained the governor’s investment along with the additional $35 million in the second year of the biennium which was added by the House.
In addition, DeWine proposed a $30 million increase in each year of the budget for children services. The House subsequently doubled this investment, and the Senate supported it.
The budget also increases funding to help offset the local governments’ costs of operating the statewide MARCS radio communications system and provided additional financial assistance to Pike County which is struggling with the tremendous costs of trying a multiple-murder case.
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.