As your State Representative, I continue to be very fiscally conservative in my decisions to best utilize your tax dollars. I do believe that we must identify priorities and fund those important priorities needed for our economic future.
I voted against the budget bill because we shouldn’t cut funding to public education, while increasing funding for the for-profit charter schools. Our schools are performing well, but now feel unappreciated for the success they have demonstrated. We should not put the safety of our residents at risk by substantially cutting local government funds. The budget approved in the Ohio House was balanced mostly on the backs of schools and local government.
Wording in the bill will still make it possible for the sale or lease of the Ohio Turnpike to a private company, and I won’t even have a vote as your representative when such a decision is made. The budget bill will also clear the way for the sale of two state prisons here in Lorain County.
Anyone in business knows that you don’t sell valuable assets in a down economy. Quick one-time money is not being fiscally responsible for our long-term budget concerns. Plus, the private operators will pay guards about two-thirds of their current pay. The end result is less money for the local economy, higher employee turnover and increased security concerns.
Also of great concern to me is the 50 percent cut for the Ohio Consumers’ Council. The OCC represents Ohio consumers when utility companies seek rate increases before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The OCC is funded through an assessment paid by the utility companies. The cost per consumer in Ohio is around $1 a year incorporated into your utility bill. There is no reason to cut the OCC when it has absolutely no impact on the state’s general revenue fund or balancing the state’s budget. The OCC has saved consumers billions of dollars on their utility bills. This big cut is a major blow to consumers and a huge victory for the utility companies.
We’ll talk more about the budget bill and state issues at my next “Lundy Listens” town hall meeting. Please make plans now to join us June 25 (Saturday) at 11 a.m. at the Columbia Station Library. Please feel free to contact me about state issues at 614-644-5076 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to serving you.
Matt Lundy (D-57) represents Avon Lake and sections of Lorain County in the Ohio House of Representatives. Elected in 2006, the Avon Lake native recently earned his bid at re-election.