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Legislative Advocacy

State Level Government Relations
Ohio Operating Budget

General information - The state-operating budget is a biennial (two-year) process that is based on the state fiscal year (FY) that runs from July 1st through June 30th (the biennial budget starts in odd-numbered calendar years). Like the federal budget, the process starts with the Governor and the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) assembling the Executive Budget. The process continues with the submission of the Executive Budget to the General Assembly.

At this point the process is different at the state level. In early February the budget bill is introduced in the Ohio House and referred to the Finance and Appropriations Committee. The bill introduced is essentially the same as the Governor's budget submission. After public testimony the House will present a substitute version of the bill, make amendments to the new version and report (vote) the bill out of committee for a full vote of the House. Once the House approves the budget bill the process is repeated in the Ohio Senate as testimony is heard in the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, amendments are made and the Senate substitute version is sent to the full chamber for a vote.

The versions of operating budget bill that pass the House and the Senate will have a significant number of differences. The Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate will appoint a conference committee to reconcile these differences. In the waning days of the current fiscal the conference committee will send a report to the House and Senate chambers for an up or down vote. The final step is for the Governor to sign the budget bill. The Governor, unlike the President, can line item veto provisions that are unacceptable.

The above process outlines the passage of the operating budget that defines how state funds in the General Revenue Fund (GRF) are to be spent. There is a separate process for the capital budget that defines how capital funds state institutions (including colleges and universities) are to be distributed.

Timeframe - Below is a general timeline for the state budget process. This process reflects approximate dates that are optimal to finishing the budget process in a timely fashion, however, slippage often occurs and these dates are missed.

  • June (12 months prior to new FY) - OBM gives agencies guidance on budget requests

  • August-November (7-10 months prior to new FY) - Agencies submit requests to OBM

  • Late November (7 months prior to new FY) - OBM presents recommendations to the Governor

  • December- January (5-6 months prior to new FY) - OBM prepares the Executive Budget and prepares, in conjunction with the Legislative Services Commission (LSC), the budget bill for introduction

  • Early February (4 months prior to new FY) - Governor submits his budget to the General Assembly and the budget bill is introduced in the House

  • Mid February - Mid April (2-4 months prior to new FY) - House holds hearings and votes on the bill

  • Mid April - May (1-2 months prior to new FY) - Senate holds hearings and votes on the bill

  • June (Month prior to new FY) - Conference Committee reconciles differences and Governor's signature

  • July 1 - New Fiscal Year begins

Key Budget-related Websites

Ohio Office of Budget and Management
Ohio Legislative Service Commission

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