In order to make Ohio as competitive as it can be on a national scale, the state legislature has made targeted and focused investments in areas aimed to spur the desired growth. Recently, the General Assembly approved and the governor signed the capital improvements bill, which provides funding for the renovation of facilities throughout the state.

Southern State Community College in Highland County, for example, received $1,050,000 to tackle necessary renovations to the exterior of some buildings on central campus. Through what was called the Higher Education Improvement Fund, the capital bill appropriated $400 million to Ohio’s universities, colleges and tech schools.

In all, the bill made $1.7 billion in appropriations, including $675 million in K-12 schools, $300 million for local infrastructure projects and $90 million for upgrades to law enforcement communications.

The capital bill, House Bill 482, helps schools, universities and municipalities meet the costs of projects that they likely could not have funded on their own. In most cases, the projects outlined in the bill do not represent new spending, but rather a fulfillment to projects that had been approved in the past, but that had not yet received funding. Moreover, investments made in these areas are in a step in the right direction toward making places like Southern State a more competitive option to students and will generate a positive return on investment for the state.

Moving forward, the Ohio House will be looking at the governor’s Mid-Biennium Budget Review proposal, which runs a fine-toothed comb through last year’s budget. That bill also focuses on the importance of capital improvements and job creation techniques. Ohio has come a long way in the previous year, jumping from 48th to 9th in job creation nationwide and first in the Midwest. Much of the work we will be doing in the coming months will be to continue that positive momentum.


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