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Ohio Lawmakers Receive Differing Forecasts On Future State Revenue

The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock
The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.

State lawmakers are getting two different forecasts on how much tax revenue will come in over the next two-year budget cycle from their experts and from the state budget director, who presented Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed spending plan to them last week.

The Legislative Service Commission forecasts nearly $1 billion more in tax revenue over the two-year budget period than the governor’s budget office does, along with $90 million less in Medicaid spending.

Ohio Office of Budget Management director Kim Murnieks told the House Finance Committee she’s being conservative with her forecast, but that she expects the numbers to be closer when both the commision and her office will redo their projections in June.

“In the meantime, I think I want to do everything that I can and the OBM team can do to avoid coming back to you 60 days from now and asking you to cut the governor’s executive budget by a billion dollars," Murnieks said.

Both revenue forecasts depend on projections of what’s happening in this fiscal year, which runs until the end of June.

A similar situation happened two years ago, when LSC's projections were rosier than OBM's.