COLUMBUS — As a result of what he considers wise financial management over the past six years, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted earlier this week announced his office can operate for the next two years without the use of taxpayer dollars from the General Revenue Fund (GRF).
As a result, the Secretary’s most recent biennial operating budget proposal (Fiscal Years 2018–2019) requests a 100 percent reduction in GRF support.
If approved by the state legislature in 2017, this move will save Ohio taxpayers $4.76 million over the next two years.
“It’s one thing to talk about reducing the size and cost of government, it’s another thing to actually do it,” Secretary Husted said. “We are delivering better services at lower prices, cutting unnecessary administrative bureaucracy and have now eliminated the need for taxpayer funding. As a result, those savings can now be used to support tax cuts, education and workforce development.”
During Secretary Husted’s first term as the state’s elections chief, he reduced spending by $14.5 million, a 16 percent reduction when compared to the previous administration. Secretary Husted has also operated his office with nearly 32 percent fewer staff. With only 130 employees, down from 190 when Secretary Husted took office, payroll costs at the Secretary of State’s Office is now at its lowest level in nine years.
In 2015, the Secretary asked the state legislature to pass along the office’s savings to Ohio entrepreneurs by reducing the fees associated with starting and maintaining a business in the state. This move has already saved Ohio businesses over $2.5 million, more than was initially predicted.
“Recently, Governor Kasich warned lawmakers that balancing the upcoming state budget will be challenging as tax revenues are coming up short, which means that everyone is going to have to tighten their belts,” added Secretary Husted. “In my office, we’re doing our part. We’re not just going to reduce our budget, we are seeking a 100 percent cut in our taxpayer funding for the remainder of my time as Secretary of State.”
During the biennial budget for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017, Secretary Husted was the only statewide officeholder to request a reduction, not an increase, in his office’s funding.
With the savings accrued by Secretary Husted’s careful financial stewardship and ongoing revenue created by the state’s record-number of new business startups, the Secretary of State’s Office is now capable of operating without taxpayer dollars for the upcoming biennium.