CINCINNATI – The Ohio Chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has honored Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted with the Taxpayers’ Torch Award at their Path to Prosperity event. The award recognizes those who have shown exceptional stewardship of taxpayer dollars and demonstrated conservative leadership in bringing about a more efficient, more effective government.
“While many politicians campaign for office on the promise of a leaner and more efficient government, very few actually deliver,” Husted said. “We have taken a fiscally-conservative approach to providing better services to Ohioans at a lower cost to the taxpayer. I’m proud that those efforts have paid off and that we have freed up resources that can be put to better use.”
As a result of wise financial management over the past six years, Husted announced in December 2016 that his office would be able to operate for the next two years without the use of taxpayer dollars. As a result, the Secretary’s budget proposal for the 2018-2019 biennial budget requested a 100 percent cut in support from the state’s General Revenue Fund.
“Secretary Husted has reminded us that all elected officials are responsible for the stewardship of tax dollars, even in offices we may not traditionally consider when it comes to tightening the purse strings,” said Micah Derry, AFP-Ohio State director. “State leaders in Ohio and across the country should take note of Secretary Husted’s actions and follow his lead in practicing sensible financial management of their respective budgets.”
During Husted’s first term as the state’s elections chief, he reduced spending by $14.5 million, a 16 percent reduction when compared to the previous administration. Husted has also operated his office with nearly 32 percent fewer staff. With only 130 employees, down from 190 when Husted took office, payroll costs at the Secretary of State’s Office are now at its lowest level in nine years.
“With the governor and legislative leaders warning that the upcoming budget cycle will be challenging as tax revenues come up short, it is all the more important that every office and agency do their part,” said Husted.
In 2015, the Secretary asked the state legislature to pass along the office’s savings to Ohio entrepreneurs by reducing the fees associated with starting and maintaining a business in the state. This move has already saved Ohio businesses over $3.6 million, more than was initially predicted.
During the biennial budget for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017, Husted was the only statewide officeholder to request a reduction, not an increase, in his office’s funding.
With the savings accrued by Husted’s careful financial stewardship and ongoing revenue created by the state’s record-number of new business startups, the Secretary of State’s Office is now capable of operating without taxpayer dollars for the upcoming biennium.
Husted has a long history of demonstrating the conservative fiscal policies championed by the AFP. As Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Husted shepherded passage of the most fiscally-conservative budget in four decades, which included the largest tax cut in the state’s history.