Bill creates long-range financial outlook committee

Written on Nov 30, 2017

OSCPA staff report

A bill under consideration in the Ohio House would bring a much-needed, long-range approach to state budgeting.

“Having a regularly updated Long Range Financial Outlook report that projects out over the coming four years, is prepared by an impartial group of government and private sector experts and is available to anyone who wants to take advantage of the information makes good sense for policymakers and the public alike,” said John Venturella, CPA, JD, and OSCPA Executive Board chair-elect.

Venturella’s comments before the House Financial Institutions Committee were submitted Tuesday via written testimony.

House Bill 320 would create a Long-Range Financial Outlook Council, a group of 15 to 21 appointees, no more than half of whom “plus one” could be from one political party. The law would require the General Assembly to convene annually to receive the council’s annual report, providing a four-year financial outlook beyond the customary biennial budgeting. The governor would then review and recommend revisions to the report as part of the executive budget.

Venturella pointed out that OSCPA first recommended such an approach in 2009 with its Ohio Budget Advisory Task Force Report.

“While a long-range financial outlook approach is not a substitute for the traditional budget process, it does allow government leaders to examine the causes of funding pressures beyond the sources of revenue that fund them.”

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