State Legislature Tries To Limit Governor's Power To Close
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 19, 2003
COLUMBUS, OHIO--State legislators want to tie the hands of their governor when it comes to closing institutions and other large facilities.
Earlier this year, Governor Bob Taft announced that the state would close a prison, along with two of its twelve state-run institutions housing people with developmental disabilities.
The decision was described as one measure to deal with an estimated $4 billion shortfall in the next two-year budget cycle.
But parents of people housed in the institutions, here called "developmental centers", and members of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, which represents thousands of state employees, has strongly opposed the closure of even one facility. Many have lobbied lawmakers to go against Taft's decision.
A bill before a House committee last week would have kept the governor from using his executive powers to close prisons, youth detention centers, and institutions housing people with mental illnesses, mental retardation or developmental disabilities.
Taft, however, was expected to veto the measure, according to Wednesday's Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.
"The commission would tie the executive's hands in making tough decisions to balance the budget, and he would veto that bill if it came to his desk," said a Taft spokesperson.
"Taft won't yield power to close state facilities" (Lancaster Eagle-Gazette)