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Government & Politics

National Group Find Benefits in Using Leftover Ohio Rainy Day Funds

photo of Gov. Kasich rainy day funds
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

There’s been a lot of discussion about when or if to use the $2 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. A national group has studied the impact of using rainy day funds in budget crises.

Ohio’s tax collections are $773 million below estimates for this fiscal year. The Pew Charitable Trusts looked into what might happen to a state’s credit rating when revenues are short. Jonathan Moody with Pew said in a scenario like Ohio’s when the rainy day fund was used, there was not only no credit rating hit, but the chances of a downgrade decreased.

“Lawmakers shouldn’t be afraid to tap their reserves during a period of downturn if that’s what the reserve is for, and as long as they’re taking the other steps that they should to try to mitigate the effects of a downturn,” he said.

Moody says those steps vary, but likely would include spending cuts or tax increases.