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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a $775 million budget reduction in general revenue fund spending for the remainder 2020 fiscal year during his coronavirus news conference on Tuesday.

DeWine said state revenues for the fiscal year were ahead by more than $200 million in February. Now, the state is below the budgeted estimates by $776.9 million. He said they would not be dipping into the state’s rainy day fund, despite repeated admissions that, “It’s raining,” until the next fiscal year.

“As we have all seen, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the American economy. And Ohio’s economy as well. Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio’s economy was strong and our budget was on track,” DeWine said.

Cuts over the next two months include $210 million to Medicaid, $300 million in K-12 foundation payment reductions, $55 million in other education budget line items, $110 million in higher education and $100 million to other agencies.

DeWine said 9.4 percent of the Ohio taxpayer-funded budget is spent on operating expenses for state agencies. More than 85 percent goes to subsidies to schools, higher education, Medicaid and local governments.

The freezes on state hiring, promotions and raises continue, as well as the freeze on travel.

“If we don’t make these cuts now, the cuts we will have to make next year will be more dramatic,” DeWine said.

The governor said he consulted with the state legislature on the cuts. He said there will be constant reviews of incoming revenue.

According to DeWine, the state budget was not a factor in efforts to reopen Ohio’s economy.

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