Libraries, schools and county agencies urge Ohio Senators to pass HB 318

By Erica Shaffer - bio | email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – Toledo Lucas County Public Libraries are asking folks to contact Ohio Senators to pass House Bill 318. But it's not just libraries that could be affected if the bill isn't passed.

House Bill 318 would provide enough money to balance the state budget next year if it passes and it wouldn't mean paying more income tax for Ohioans. However, if the bill doesn't pass schools and local government agencies could see more cuts.

"We don't know exactly how many dollars we would lose," said Toledo Lucas Public Library Director Clyde Scoles. Toledo's libraries depend on state funding for nearly half of their budget. They say going into 2010, they've already faced with a $7.4 million dollar shortfall.

For schools, the situation is just as bad, with teachers possibly being cut in the middle of this school year. "The only way to make a meaningful impact to your school district budget is in the area of personnel," said Springfield Schools Treasurer Bob Mullenburg.

The cuts could also affect social services agencies, but Lucas County Children's Services says most of their funding is through levies. However, other counties' children's services offices might not be so lucky.

Therefore, libraries, schools and government agencies want citizens to call their senators and ask them to pass House Bill 318 on Dec. 15.

Scoles says it's not talking about saving our libraries, schools and local agencies, but about saving Ohio.

On the other hand, many oppose the bill. In a statement from Representative Peter Beck of District 76, he says the bill eliminates the final installment of income tax reduction and would raise Ohioans taxes in 2009 by 4.2 percent. Beck also says Ohio leaders should allow families and small businesses to keep their money to bring more opportunities to the state.

The Bill has already passed the House, but has run into trouble in the Senate.

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