As of now, Ohio’s state government is only funded through July 17 under a temporary budget passed by the State Legislature. The stop-gap measure was passed after legislators failed to meet their June 30 constitutional deadline for passing a biennial budget.
But, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, legislators receive their full pay at the beginning of each month, even in temporary-budget scenarios.
The Plain Dealer reports that “nearly all state employees, including Gov. Mike DeWine and most other elected officials, are paid biweekly for the work they’ve already put in.”
At the beginning of July, the state paid out $799,200 in legislative salaries. Most legislators receive $63,007 in annual pay after they passed legislative pay raises in December.
According to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, the House of Representative had a payroll of $8.4 million for Fiscal Year 2019, while the Ohio Senate had a payroll of $4.7 million.
“Meeting a constitutional budget deadline is the bare minimum,” Janetta King, president and CEO of Innovation Ohio, told The Plain Dealer, saying she thinks “it’s fair for Ohio voters to expect more from their elected officials.”
Spokespeople for Republican leadership said that legislative pay will become “a moot issue” once they pass a two-year budget.
“We’re making good progress working with the Senate on the budget. We are committed to expeditiously wrapping up work on the few differences that remain, and believe this will be a moot issue,” House Republican spokeswoman Gail Crowley told The Plain Dealer.
In a June 30 memo to all state agencies, Office of Budget and Management Director Kimberly Murnieks said that “all employees are to report to work and will of course be paid as usual.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Alexander Smith. CC BY-SA 3.0.