By Rep. John Becker
As we begin the 130th General Assembly, I am looking forward to working with the governor’s budget proposal, as well as a new way for our state government to be more transparent to our constituents.
While we move through the lengthy, yet imperative, budget process, I believe it’s important that we keep Ohioans informed about what is taking place in the legislature. It’s an exciting time in Ohio’s history and having Ohioans more involved only makes it more groundbreaking.
That is why I am proud to say that House Finance and Appropriations Committee hearings are now available to be seen online by the public. This ensures that our state government is more open and that we advocate accountability.
This innovative change is truly momentous and it allows Ohioans the ability to engage in the budget process.
The budget is the biggest piece of legislation that we will pass during this General Assembly. It is a bill that must be passed by the legislature according to the Ohio Constitution and it dictates how the state will allocate its funds. Therefore every Ohio citizen is affected, and I’m eager for them to be able to watch the process in action.
The governor offered his budget proposal on February 4th and it will go through the legislature, beginning in the House. Everything from education to transportation will be part of the discussion.
The budget items will be explored during various committee hearings, depending on their subject matter.
These hearings involve legislators on the Finance Committee asking questions to various experts on the budget. It is a time for representatives to hammer out the details. Our job is to make sure that no issue is overlooked and that we are watching out for every Ohioan.
You can view the Finance Committee hearings on the House website, at www.ohiohouse.gov/committee/finance-and-appropriations. You can also see live streaming of House and Senate sessions on the same website.
Additionally, constituents can check out committee agendas and download hearing testimony.
It’s a great way for citizens in my district to stay involved with the whole budget process. This new media endeavor also allows us to demonstrate a more transparent legislature to Ohioans who want to witness how their government is working for them.
Rep. Becker represents the 65th Ohio House District.