Lawmakers will have to make tough cuts

Ohio lawmakers have a tough job on their hands, as Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget proposals exceed mandatory spending growth limits and must be cut. Budget advisers also are expecting revenue collection to be lower than DeWine anticipated.

There are a lot of good, necessary spending projects in the governor’s budget proposal. Lawmakers should focus first on cutting the fat — and, yes, there is plenty of it — that weighs down attempts to move forward with some of those projects.

Columbus insiders and the bureaucracy in general hold enormous sway over lawmakers. But preserving the status quo should be the last thing on the minds of those elected to serve Ohioans. Cuts should focus on eliminating waste, duplication and even fraud.

“We’re out of balance right now,” said House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Perry. “We’ve got to work hard to get it back in balance. We’ll take care of that. We’ll do it.”

Let’s hope so. And let’s hope the state House and Senate do so with enough courage to make necessary cuts to existing programs that have become far too comfortable in their excess.

There are difficult decisions ahead. Ohio lawmakers know what they have to do if they are to truly serve their constituents, rather than the bureaucrats. Surely, they will be able to summon the fortitude to do it.

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