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Rep. Carey tapped as chair of House

State Rep.

Friday, January 05, 2001

State Rep. John Carey will chair the Ohio House’s Finance and Appropriations Committee this term – his last because of term limits.

Carey, a Republican from Wellston, represents part of Lawrence County. He said he expects House speaker Larry Householder to make the official appointment next week.

The committee, charged with overseeing state finance proposals, has 31 members from the House. Both the operating budget and the capitol budget enter the legislative process in the committee, Carey said.

"Any appropriation begins there," he said. "It will be quite a challenge, especially with Medicaid. And, we’re dedicated to addressing education."

Carey currently serves on several legislative committees. He has served as chair of the Human Services Subcommittee. And he co-chaired the Joint Committee to Re-Examine the Cost of an Adequate Education.

County commissioner Paul Herrell called Carey’s appointment a plus, and an honor for the legislator.

"He represents Lawrence County well," Herrell said. "This district will probably have an advantage now."

Carey’s first duty will likely involve leading the finance committee’s members into the state budget process.

"The governor will give the state of the state address Jan. 24," he said. "Sometime after that, he will introduce his budget."

The committee and its subcommittees will hold meetings and hearings, as the budget makes its way through the House and Senate.

Carey said his priorities will focus on education and healthcare.

The state has made great strides in school funding changes but has a long way to go, he said.

Carey said the state passes 6 percent or 8 percent increases each year but no one seems to get the money, which he called frustrating.

The joint committee he co-chaired recommended, among several items, increasing the base per-pupil funding by $67 per pupil while adding $85 per pupil to fund additional graduation units required and adding $120 per pupil for inflation. It also recommended a boost to Tier 1-A funding and creating a second level of funding to address the Ohio Supreme Court’s concern about over-reliance on property taxes and disparity in funding between districts, concepts addressed in Carey’s House Bill 734, he said.

The state also must address Medicaid as costs to the state continue to increase in the program, Carey said.

More people are becoming enrolled, especially children, but that means costs to run it become a challenge, he said.