Dan Langshaw’s Testimony before the Ohio Senate Finance Committee on Substitute HB 110 on June 3, 2021

Former North Royalton Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw and former Treasurer for the Northeast Ohio City Council Association returned back to Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio on June 3, 2021. This time building off the progress from his previous testimony before the Ohio House Finance Committee regarding Substitute House Bill 110, the State Operating Budget back on March 11, 2021. Langshaw provided testimony before the Ohio Senate Finance Committee in response to numerous changes by the Senate to the House version of the budget passed last month. He drew the Committee’s attention to three main areas of the budget that impact communities throughout Ohio including his home community of North Royalton.

If you like to watch the video of Dan’s testimony click on the link below and fast forward to 2:26 mark:
Click on the link below to view the Full Text of Dan’s testimony:

Honorable Dan Langshaw Substitute House Bill 110 Testimony Ohio Senate Finance Committee June 3, 2021

Chairman Dolan, Vice Chair Gavarone, Ranking Member Sykes, and Senate Finance Committee members. My name is Dan Langshaw, I am a former North Royalton City Councilman and former Treasurer for the Northeast Ohio City Council Association. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on Sub. H.B. 110 the State Operating Budget for FY 2022 and FY 2023.

Since my testimony before the House Finance Committee back on March 11, 2021 on Sub. H.B. 110. (See attached March 11, 2021 House Testimony) The House has made many positive improvements to the overall biennium budget, however, I would like to draw the Committee’s attention to three main areas of the budget that warrant amending and or a second look due to the impact it will have on local governments and communities throughout Ohio including my community of North Royalton.

Additional Oversight of the Ohio Department of Health

The House removed Governor Mike DeWine’s original budget proposal for a $50 million ad campaign however the Governor is now wasting $5 million dollars through the Ohio Department of Health by using federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to have Vax-A-Million Drawings. Members of the General Assembly from both parties such as Representative Powell and Representative Sykes have spoken out against this. Using millions of dollars in relief funds in a drawing is a grave misuse of money that could be going to respond to this ongoing pandemic. I do hope people continue to get the vaccine if that is something they choose to do and help our state reach herd immunity but I believe we can achieve this same goal without this high priced incentive. If there is anything that can be done in this next biennium to provide additional oversight of the Ohio Department of Health, I urge you all to explore additional options so this does not happen again.

Interstate 71 Transportation Study

The House added to Sub. H.B. 110 a requirement for the Ohio Department of Transportation to perform a traffic study of highways and other roads in Brunswick, Strongsville, and North Royalton, three communities off of Interstate 71. (See attached Sub. H.B. 110 Amendment HC2079) This amendment was a good addition to the budget as traffic has increased over the last decade in this area that some of you on this committee represent. Such a study will help improve public safety, address infrastructure needs, and future economic development for all of these communities including my community of North Royalton. I respectfully ask for you to keep this in the budget.

Local Government Fund (LGF)

Since 2011, the state has made deep cuts to the Local Government Fund by slashing it in half from 3.68% to 1.66% today. Last biennium budget back in 2019 in which I testified, it was positive to see the General Assembly approve HB 166 with a slight increase to LGF. However, this biennium the Governor proposed $425 million in FY 2022 and $440 million in FY 2023 to the LGF. Disappointingly this is going backwards on the progress made by HB 166 by returning the Local Government Fund to the statuary level of 1.66%. (See attached LSC February 4, 2021 Revenue Forecast page 11)  As a result, my own city of North Royalton has experienced approximately over $7 million dollars in state local government funding cuts since 2011. (See attached is a chart of a breakdown of those cuts since 2011). On top of a 2021 city budget for my community factoring in the impacts of the pandemic with a -3% decrease in 2020 income taxes and additional decrease this year of -1.5% decrease or about $235,000 less is a big impact on any local government in Ohio. (See attached North Royalton City Budget 2021 Projected Revenues) I propose that this committee approve the amendments to the budget offered by Representative Skindell in the House that would restore the LGF back to 3.68% or at a minimum just keep the FY 2020 and FY 2021 LGF Levels in place for this biennium or higher than the 1.66%. Providing the proper support to Ohio’s local governments is key to our state’s overall COVID-19 economic recovery. (See attached H.B. 110 Amendment HC0789, Sub. H.B. 110 Amendment HC1646, and Sub. H.B. 110 Amendment HF2103)

In closing Senators, the decade of cuts in the local government fund and the negative economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic all highlights the importance that the General Assembly include as much COVID-19 relief in this budget so Ohio can successfully recover whether you are a small business, local government, or just an ordinary Ohioan.

Thank you for the opportunity to advocate for these important issues that impact my community and others throughout Ohio. I am happy to answer any questions you may have for me at this time and am also available via email at danlangshawfornrward3@yahoo.com.