COLUMBUS — The 2017 year was one of tremendous progress for the state of Ohio and the 84th House District.
“Building upon recent, prior legislative tax cuts and regulatory reform, the final version of the 2018-2019 biennial budget accomplished a range of other goals in the budget bill, many of which were among my top priorities,” said Rep. Keith Faber, Celina, R-84th District. “From continuing to address higher education affordability to promoting government efficiency, the legislation the General Assembly passed this year will help promote opportunity all across Ohio, including here in west central Ohio.”
His report continues:
Affordable higher education options are necessary if we hope to provide Ohioans meaningful opportunities for a successful future. Too many young adults are swallowed by college loan debt, a debt that is often taken on while pursuing a career with little longevity. While a real problem, ballooning college debt is a symptom of runaway higher education inflation. This budget builds on recent efforts to reduce the cost of college degrees, (the Ohio Senate Challenge I issued successfully reduced the cost of degrees by an average of 11.7% in the last few years) but we must stay focused upon keeping quality education affordable.
Not only did the budget require colleges and universities to study textbook costs — which so often add another financial burden on students — we also included innovative tuition controls, which will work to keep the cost of a college degree down. Additionally, the budget devoted $5 million toward financial assistance to obtain short-term certificates, which can be a quicker and more inexpensive path to a fulfilling career.
House District 84 is the No. 1 agriculture district in the state, and it was important to me to fight to ensure that the CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) tax was modernized during the budget process. The budget included reforms to the process used to calculate CAUV values. The CAUV will now be calculated using a new formula, one that lowers property values and gives farmers more dispensation upon a true value of agricultural use. This is sure to have a positive impact on farmers across Ohio.
Finally, one of my top goals since serving in the legislature has been to increase government efficiency and accountability, ensuring that each and every taxpayer dollar is used purposefully, rather than being wasted. We passed House Bill 31, now law, which abolished several defunct boards and commissions, eliminating government waste. I again introduced legislation, House Bill 51, that requires the legislature to review the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies. The Finance Subcommittee on State Government and Agency Review, a new committee which I chaired, heard from various agencies, boards, and commissions and made a number of recommendations to improve the way state government operates.
During the past year, our work at the Statehouse has certainly contributed to a stronger Ohio. Despite a tight budget cycle, we were able to prioritize our state’s greatest needs while remaining dedicated to a platform of conservative spending. 2018 continues to provide great opportunities to improve the way Ohio’s state government functions and I look forward to continuing my efforts to make Ohio an even better place to live, work and raise a family. Should you have any suggestions, thoughts or concerns, please let me know. You can reach my Statehouse office at 614-466-6344 or by email at [email protected] Remember, in my experience, the best legislative ideas come from your thoughts and suggestions.