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Ohio's Top Elected Officials Sharpen Budget Knives

As Governor John Kasich puts finishing touches on his budget proposal, Ohio's top elective office holders say they too will pare their operating budgets. WOSU's Tom Borgerding reports. Attorney General Mike Dewine, auditor David Yost, treasurer Josh Mandel, and secretary of state Jon Husted all say they'll share the budget pain even though they're operating revenues are less dependent on Ohio's general fund. "The Secretary of State's budget is almost a rounding error in the big scheme of things." Evenso, the state's top elections official, Jon Husted, says his office will operate with fewer employees and less paper. "We're obviously reducing the number of personnel that we have in our office and we're trying to work on the other side of generating a better economic environment by moving our business services section to a more online, friendly, less paper-based way of doing things." At the state treasurer's office, Josh Mandel, looks to save money by moving bundles of checks electronically. "There was a process in place where they were actually physically driving checks from Columbus to Cleveland to the bank they were using in Cleveland. Mandel says Governor John Kasich has asked his office and others to reduce spending by ten percent. Auditor David Yost says he'll begin by doing a performance audit of his own office. "First agency under my watch to be a recipient of a performance audit will be my own office. Among the things we will be looking at will be our internal operations and our fee structures." Ohio's top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Mike Dewine says he'll change management practices at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification. Dewine's campaign last fall centered on delays in processing evidence at the lab in Madison County. "We're going to have some figures in the next few days about what those delays are but they're worse than we thought they were and try to make the management changes, the production changes that have to be made." Dewine, Husted, Mandel, and Yost all began new terms in January.