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Ohio University's class gateway at College Green, photographed on May 2, 2019

Ohio University Ending Year Strong Despite Pandemic, But Big Challenges Remain

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expected the pandemic to deliver a serious blow to its already fragile financial situation and leave it millions of dollars in the hole. Instead, just the opposite happened. The university’s board of trustees was informed at its meeting Friday that the institution expects to end its 2021 fiscal year… Read More

The Statehouse building

Ohio Budget Director Expects $3 Billion Surplus Over The Next Two Years

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The state budget process began during the pandemic, when schools and businesses were closed, unemployment numbers were at double digits, and terrifying predictions of death tolls were circulating. A year later, the state and Ohioans are flush with federal COVID relief money, so the budget picture has changed a… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Ohio University Will Refund Wages Lost Through Furloughs

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University employees will be refunded all the income they lost because of the nine months of mandatory furloughs. President Duane Nellis announced the refunds in an email to employees Thursday morning and said they were made possible because the university is ending the fiscal year with a significant budget surplus…. Read More

Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020

Ohio University Will End Year With A Surplus, But Cuts Expected As Big Deficits Loom

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expects to end the fiscal year with a $14.5 million budget surplus, a dramatic shift from the big deficit projection just a few months ago. But this rare dose of good news on the university’s budget front, delivered to the board of trustees at its meeting last week, was… Read More

Ohio University's class gateway at College Green, photographed on May 2, 2019

Ohio University Enrollment On Path To Continue Slide As Peers Project Gains

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University is on track for one of its lowest undergraduate enrollments in several decades, which will have financial repercussions for years to come. The deadline for incoming freshmen to submit their housing deposits is less than four weeks away. So far, the number of confirmed freshmen enrollments at Ohio University… Read More

Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020

Ohio University Ending Employee Furloughs Early Thanks To Budget Boost

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expects to end the fiscal year with a balanced budget or even a surplus, a dramatic shift from previous projections. As a result, the university will end the mandatory employee furloughs early and may even refund some of the lost earnings. “We’re hopeful this decision on the furlough will… Read More

orange barrels on I-270

Transportation Budget Passes House Committee, Moves Toward Floor Vote

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The $8 billion state transportation budget goes to the floor of the Ohio House tomorrow, after it was overwhelmingly approved by a House committee Wednesday. After just under a month since its introduction, House Finance Committee chair Rep. Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) reported the vote count on the two year transportation budget:… Read More

Ohio Lawmakers Change Key Parts Of Governor’s Transportation Budget

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — An Ohio House committee stripped provisions from Gov. Mike DeWine’s transportation budget, one of which targets distracted driving. The House committee removed part of the budget that included stiffer penalties for drivers caught while using or holding any wireless device while driving. Curt Steiner represents a coalition of 35 organizations… Read More

A line outside the Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Grove City near Columbus in November.

Food Banks Flat-Funded In New Ohio Budget, Though Demand Keeps Growing

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Unemployment and financial problems from the pandemic have brought millions of people to food banks, which are serving 150,000 more Ohioans per month than they were a year ago. That’s putting a strain on the system that supports those people in need. Ohio’s food banks are getting flat funding of… Read More

COTA bus driving through downtown Columbus

State Budget Proposal Recommends 90% Cut To Public Transportation Fund

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The latest budget proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) includes cutting a public transportation fund by tens of millions of dollars. Public transit advocates say this puts the state headed in the wrong direction. The budget recommends a funding line for public transportation be cut from $70 million a… Read More

The West Virginia state capitol building

Lawmakers Begin Tackling West Virginia Budget Proposal

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia House of Delegates finance committee will receive a presentation on Gov. Jim Justice’s budget proposal Friday morning. Justice’s plan calls for a no-growth, $4.56 billion budget that generally keeps funding levels flat across state government with no pay raises for public employees. Despite the pandemic, the state’s revenues… Read More

A row of desks in a classroom with a backpack hanging up on the back wall

Teachers Union Wants COVID-19 Education Plans To Consider Resources

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — School districts and communities are working on creating plans to improve student success and address the disrupted learning created by the COVID-19 pandemic. These plans could include a range of changes such as longer school years and additional tutoring, which could put a strain on teachers. Gov. Mike DeWine… Read More

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)

DeWine Adding Gun Regulations Into Budget Proposal

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is bringing back his proposal to create more gun regulations which he says will reduce crime around the state. These were measures that failed to gain traction with lawmakers last year. DeWine’s so-called “Strong Ohio” plan expanded the ability to perform background checks on gun sales,… Read More

Signs reading "We're all in this together" decorate the windows of a nursing home facility in northeast Columbus.

Proposed Budget Gives Ohio Department Of Health More Power To Shutter “Unsafe” Nursing Homes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — More than half of the state’s COVID-19 deaths coming from nursing homes. So those and other long term care facilities are getting a lot of attention in the new state budget. The Patient Protection proposal in the budget would give the Ohio Department of Health the power to shut down nursing… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse in December 2020

Ohio Governor Lays Out His Proposed Two-Year Budget

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine laid out his proposed two-year state budget that sinks $1 billion into one-time spending. DeWine said his plan would use $1 billion of federal and state funds to create the “Investing in Ohio” initiative. It’s one-time money he said will do four things. “We will… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse building

Advocates For Social Services And Education Say It’s Time To Tap Ohio’s Rainy-Day Fund

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A coalition of more than 100 unions and progressive advocacy groups is calling on state leaders to avoid making cuts to front-line workers serving Ohio’s communities during this pandemic. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed an Executive Order for an across the board $390 million budget cut. Last year, when he made three quarters of a billion dollars in cuts to… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Pandemic Deepens Ohio University’s Budget Crisis

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expects to lose about $20 million in revenue because so many students are choosing not to return to campus this semester. This is just one piece of a projected budget deficit of $32.2 million for the current fiscal year, forcing the university to again dip into its reserves to… Read More

Ohio University's Alumni Gateway on March 10, 2020

Ohio University Leaders Struggled To Forecast Depth Of Budget Crisis

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Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories that will examine the budget crisis that has left Ohio University looking to cut millions of dollars in expenses. As the region’s largest employer, the decisions it makes can have a profound effect on the local economy. The stories will look at the specific… Read More

Ohio University Alumni Gate

Quick Look: Ohio University Faculty Given One Year Notice, Furlough Tiers Detailed

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Friday’s 5:41 p.m. email from Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis outlined what hundreds, by that time, knew – there had been another round of job cuts. Nellis wrote that 94 administrators lost their jobs and, as of now, 53 instructors received official notice that they would be released from the… Read More

Quick Look: OU Trustees Reject Union Agreement, New Furlough Policy Coming

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University’s Board of Trustees held their first-ever virtual meeting Monday. The members acknowledged outstanding students, approved a tuition freeze, and new academic programs as expected per the agenda overview. But an item originally submitted for approval was ultimately voted down. The board members rejected the university’s tentative collective bargaining agreement… Read More

Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020

Ohio University Delays Personnel-Related Budget Cuts During Pandemic

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University has paused personnel-related budget reductions in response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. According to a release, the university on Wednesday requested the action be taken for an undetermined amount of time. “Our current focus must be on the safety and well-being of our campus communities as we continue to ensure… Read More