Proposed Law Would Require Local Governments To Balance Their Budgets

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An Ohio lawmaker wants to require cities, villages and counties to balance their budgets, just as the state is obligated to do under its constitution.

The proposal from state Rep. Lou Terhar also would require all governmental subdivisions to maintain actuarially funded municipal pension plans. Any indebtedness must comply with the requirements that are applied to the state.

Terhar, a Cincinnati Republican, says municipal bankruptcies upset the economic health of their regions. He says they stretch state resources because of new unemployment claims and need for social services.

Terhar says bankruptcy filings from Detroit and Stockton, Calif., are reminders of why Ohio's governmental subdivisions shouldn't be left open to potential financial crises.

He plans to formally introduce his proposal in the fall legislative session.