Study: Cutting Public Jobs Due To Pandemic Slows Economic Recovery

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — State agencies were forced to make cuts at the end of Ohio’s fiscal year in June to deal with coronavirus impacts. And in most cases, those have carried over into this current year’s budget. Now a liberal leaning think tank says continuing at that level will slow the economic recovery even further.

The study by Policy Matters Ohio shows the $776 million worth of cuts made in May have established a lower baseline for the current budget. Wendy Patton says that means $309 million less for K-12 schools and $89 million fewer dollars for Ohio’s colleges and universities.

“This is going to hit college towns hard and deepen the recession. The more we see lawmakers make budget cuts that eliminate public positions and public services, the deeper the layoffs, the economic distress and the recession,” Patton says.

Patton says the lost jobs from those budget cuts send ripple effects into communities, especially those that serve low-income and minority Ohioans. She says the state would be better off using some of its rainy-day fund and figure out ways to draw down federal money.