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Cuts hurt but DeWine is right to make them

Mid-Ohio Valley residents know the COVID-19 pandemic has meant an immediate re-evaluation of the household budget. For many families, a severe reduction in spending was required, and planning must be done for the possibility that income may not return to comfortable levels for quite some time.

Gov. Mike DeWine came to the same realization this week as he announced $775 million in cuts to the state budget over the next two months. He says the cuts are necessary now to avoid even more painful cuts later. Remember, Ohio was at a $200 million surplus in February. Revenue plunged by nearly $750 million last month.

DeWine notes the cuts will affect every state agency except prisons. Surely he can find inefficiencies there, too.

But the politicians and other bureaucrats in Columbus know better than to squawk over this one. DeWine is trying — as has been the case throughout most of this crisis — to get out ahead of a problem before it causes even greater damage to the state and its people. He is also trying to avoid having to access the state’s rainy day fund before the start of the next fiscal year.

“This rain is not a passing spring shower,” he said.

When this storm has passed, however, DeWine and lawmakers should take a look at just how many of the cuts implemented now can remain in place. There is no sense restoring unnecessary spending when we do not know what unpleasant financial surprises might be lurking around the corner.

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