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State Budget 101: What It Means for Ohio and How to Get Involved


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The Ohio legislature is currently negotiating the biennial state budget bill that will determine funding for vital public services and supports over the next two years. Passing a new state budget presents a big opportunity to advocate to strengthen Ohio’s families and communities. Over the next several months AOF and our partners will focus on helping Ohioans be safe in their homes, afford the basics, and find good jobs that ensure family stability.

Webinar speakers Tara Britton and William Tarter, Jr. of The Center for Community Solutions discussed how the state budget is negotiated, where to find budget resources and how to use them, what it means to be an effective advocate, and ways to get involved in efforts to strengthen Ohio’s human services programs.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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State Budget 101: What It Means for Ohio and How to Get Involved

  1. 1. State Budget 101 What It Means for Ohio and How to Get Involved
  2. 2. a statewide coalition of over 485 organizations and thousands of individual advocates. Advocates for Ohio’s Future is…
  3. 3. Ohio should be a great place for ALL Ohioans to live and work. Participate in the economy Be healthy and saf e Afford the basics
  4. 4. Advocate with us! • You’ll receive a follow-up email from this webinar • Look for “Act Now” email alerts, webinar invitations, and new resources • Unsubscribe at any time
  5. 5. Webinar Presenters William Tarter, Jr. Policy and Planning Associate and Community Advocacy The Center for Community Solutions Tara Britton Director of Public Policy and Advocacy The Center for Community Solutions
  6. 6. State Budget 101 Advocates for Ohio’s Future March 28, 2017
  7. 7. State Budget Process Budget bill returns to full Finance Committee, changes are made, substitute bill reported to House of Representatives Different issue areas of budget heard in House Finance Subcommittees (e.g., Health & Human Services, Education, etc.) Governor introduces budget proposal (Late January) Budget bill (H.B. 49) introduced in House, referred to House Finance Committee (February) House of Representatives passes budget bill (Mid-to-late April)
  8. 8. State Budget Process (continued) Budget deliberations are heard in Committee OR in subcommittee Changes made in Senate Finance, substitute bill is reported out to Full Senate House and Senate concur with changes made in Conference Committee Budget bill introduced in Senate, referred to Senate Finance (Late April) Senate passes budget bill (Early June) Conference Committee deliberates and agrees on changes to budget bill (Mid-to-late June) Governor signs budget bill, likely with line- item vetoes (By June 30)
  9. 9. House Finance Tuesday, March 28 Public Testimony 9:00am Statehouse Rm. 313 Wednesday, March 29 Public Testimony 9:00am Statehouse Rm. 313 Thursday, March 30 Public Testimony 9:00am Statehouse Rm. 313 Contact Chairman Ryan Smith’s office at to submit testimony and for more information about the committee and the schedule.
  10. 10. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE COMMISSION A nonpartisan agency providing the Ohio General Assembly with drafting, research, budget and fiscal analysis, training, and other services
  11. 11. LSC Homepage
  12. 12. Budget Bills and Related Documents Page
  13. 13. Comparison Document • A document prepared by the Legislative Service Commission staff, commonly known as the “compare doc,” that compares the current version of an operating budget bill, provision by provision, with one or more versions of the bill that were produced at preceding steps in the legislative process. Arranged alphabetically by agency, the comparison document includes estimates of each provision’s fiscal effects but does not include the line-item appropriations, which are available in the Budget in Detail. Specialized compare docs are available for conference committee deliberations.
  14. 14. Redbook • An analysis (named for its red cover) prepared by the Legislative Service Commission staff at the beginning of the legislative budget process that examines the executive budget proposal for an individual state agency. A redbook typically contains a brief description of the agency and the provisions of the executive budget that affect the agency; a detailed analysis of the executive budget recommendations for the agency, including funding for each appropriation line item; and attachments of the COBLI section and the LSC budget spreadsheet for the agency.
  15. 15. Why Advocate? • Service is not enough • Government policies affect everyone • Government controls funding for important services • Policymakers care about and need your expertise
  16. 16. Advocacy Definition  Public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy  Advocacy is used in the promotion of a cause or principle, often times that lead to a selected goal  Advocacy is just one way to approach a problem  Advocacy does not necessarily involve confrontation or conflict
  17. 17. Advocacy Do’s and Don’ts • Do advocate for legislation and issues • DO NOT advocate for candidates • Do encourage voter registration • DO NOT tell people who to vote for • Do meet with elected officials • DO NOT attend fundraisers as an official representative of your agency
  18. 18. A Survey of Congressional Staffers Asked What Types of Advocacy is Most Effective “If your Member/Senator has not already arrived at a firm decision on an issue, how much influence might the following advocacy strategies directed to the Washington office have on his/her decision?”
  19. 19. What Types of Advocacy is Most Effective Postcards Petitions Form Postal Letters Your Office's Social Media Platforms Groups Social Media Platforms Form Email Messages Visit From a Lobbyist Letter to the Editor Referencing Your Boss Phone Calls Comments During Telephone Town Hall Local Editorial Referencing Issue Pending Individualized Postal Letters Individualized Email Messages Contact from Constituents' Reps In-Person Issue Visits from Constituents A Lot of Positive Influence Some Positive Influence 94% 94% 92% 88% 87% 87% 84% 83% 83% 56% 51% 50% 50% 49% 42%
  20. 20. Policymakers Find it Easier to Say “Yes” to Your Advocacy If…  They have a relationship with you and your organization  They have reason to trust the information you present  They know who you speak for  They know how you relate to their community & constituents  They know you have strong media relationships
  21. 21. Three Advocacy Methods 1. Personal Phone Call 2. Personal Letter 3. Personal Visit
  22. 22. Personal Phone Call  Don’t expect to speak to the legislator  Be pleasant to the staff (ask for their name)  Let them know if you are a constituent (phone ID can tell them that already)  Try to sound like yourself  Know your expertise/What gives you credibility?  Keep it short  Be a good listener  Have a clear “ask”
  23. 23. Personal Letter  Personalize the letter  Relate your experiences  Keep it short  Address one issue  Hand written is preferred  Always include your home address  Always ask for a reply
  24. 24. Letter Example • The Honorable __________________ • (governing body if sending to office ) • address of governing body • Spell their name correctly!!! The Honorable Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge United State House of Representatives, District Office 4834 Richmond Rd # 150 Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
  25. 25. Personal Visit  Schedule meeting in advance  Schedule meeting with legislator and other constituents if possible  Dress appropriately  Be on time, early if possible (but don’t be surprise if you have to wait)  Start with compliment and thank them first  State briefly, clearly, and concisely what issue(s) you want to discuss  Personalize the issue  Be a good listener  Have a clear “ask”  Invite legislator to visit your organization
  26. 26. Social Media  Don’t be afraid to talk to legislators via social media  Tag them in posts to start conversation or to inform  Encourage your followers to share or retweet your posts or to talk to legislators directly  Use graphics, tables, photos or video to accentuate your points  If using emails, do not use all capital letters
  27. 27. • You’ll receive a follow-up email with links to video, slides and resources • Join the conversation on social media: • @Advocates4OH • • @CommunitySols • @CCSPolicy • Next Steps
  28. 28. Find Your Legislators
  29. 29. AOF Advocacy Resources  Latest Resources  Ohio Poverty Snapshot Resource Card  State Budget Issue Fact Sheets  Resource Archive  Advocacy Toolkit When you talk with people, highlight how public investments in Ohio’s human services benefit Ohioans at all income levels.
  30. 30. Thank you for joining us today! Please consider making a donation to help us offer more great webinars and info to advocates like you.