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Ohio needs to look to future

The old cliché that good things come to those who wait may be true in many cases but it certainly doesn’t apply to solving Ohio’s budget crisis.

Yet that is exactly what has happened with the six-person panel established last July to take a long, hard look at the state’s budget crisis and offer tangible solutions prior to a new biannual plan that will be in place for 2012-2013.

So how many times has this group met in the past seven months? A big zero.

So rather than getting together early and often, the group has done the worst thing possible by not even paying attention.

Are we any closer to solving the massive shortfalls in revenue, dependence on one-time monies or rising expenses that plagued the 2009 budget? Of course not.

If nothing changes, Ohio will once again face crippling cuts to public agencies. The only clear solution would be to implement significant tax increases, a move that would likely have the opposite effect on citizens and businesses that are already struggling.

This lack of action is perfectly illustrative of the type of leadership Ohio has in Columbus. Imagine the progress that could have been made if this group had met even one time a month. It would have at least started the conversation on several key points and allowed time to research any data needed to further the discussion.

Soon, when lawmakers are struggling to cut millions and millions from the next two-year budget, we will hear all types of excuses. One of which will certainly hinge upon having the needed time to make potential changes.

State leaders have no one to blame but themselves. Ohioans need to think hard about who they want as our leaders and why.

And there is no time to wait on this crucial decision