Ohio budget work has been nothing but games

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio lawmakers have become spectacles.

Last week the Ohio Senate held hearings to ask legitimate questions about how the process of adding 17,500 slot machines at Ohio’s seven horse race tracks would really work and how the governor’s people concluded that gamblers would feed the state almost $1 billion in the next two years.

Notwithstanding all the emphatic assurances that the money really will materialize, that bad things won’t happen if the tracks set up temporary gambling facilities in their parking lots, and that the Ohio Lottery Commission can run de facto casinos, the governor’s plan is absurd.

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The Senate’s motive behind the hearing — to expose the uncertainties and risks associated with slots — was partly pure. But the Republicans running that show also are playing games. …

The immediate hole that has to be filled amounts to 6 percent of the state budget, but that comes on the heels of three earlier rounds of cuts. We have hit bone and raw nerves.

The governor, Senate President Bill Harris and House Speaker Armond Budish are the people who must come to an agreement. …

Enough of the arguing. These men need to do the jobs they sought.

Dayton Daily News