Ohio economists say state’s pandemic spending cuts won’t help the economy

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In May 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced $775 million in state spending cuts in the face of what he expected to be lower tax revenues due to economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The cuts included $300 million whacked from K-12 education and $210 million from Medicaid, the health program for the poor. DeWine decided to make them instead of dipping into the state’s $2.7 billion rainy day fund.

In hindsight, the move is receiving scant support from a panel of Ohio economists. 

In a survey published Monday by Scioto Analysis, the panel was asked whether they agreed that “The DeWine Administration’s decision in 2020 to cut spending rather than use ‘Rainy Day’ budget stabilization funds during the pandemic will lead to more economic growth for Ohio in the long run.”

Only about a fifth — 5 of 24 — did. Sixteen disagreed and three said they were uncertain or had no opinion.

At the…

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