By KAREN KASLER
It’s almost two weeks into the state’s new budget year, and there’s still no permanent two-year operating budget.
Lawmakers from the House and Senate are both defending their versions of the budget, which include big tax changes and new programs dealing with the opioid crisis, children’s initiatives and the environment.
Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville) is on the six-member conference committee, which is negotiating the details of the budget.
Burke said nothing has shut down in state government under the temporary budget that expires July 17, as spending is staying at current levels, but new projects and programs aren’t starting.
But he hinted Representatives and Senators are holding firm on their chamber’s spending plans.
“We don’t want to have to extend beyond 17 days if we can well avoid it. However, we’re also not going to rush to make bad decisions either,” Burke said.
Gov. Mike DeWine said both budgets are good ones, and that he’s talked to the House Speaker and Senate President, but said he’s not getting involved in the negotiations beyond that.
If a final two-year budget can’t be agreed upon by both chambers and signed by DeWine by July 17, lawmakers will have to return to pay another interim budget.