A bill that makes improvements to legislation included in the state’s Budget Bill passed the Senate December 14 and now goes to Governor Kasich for his expected signature. HB 371, revises language which created a state Local Government Innovation Council.  The Council may establish criteria for and make loans and awards to political subdivisions for local government innovation projects including those that are part of a consolidation effort.

One goal is to encourage local governments to consolidate or share services.

The most recent Census report reveals that with 11.5 million people and a stagnant economy Ohio is burdened with 3,702 local governments–more than twice as many as a growing Florida.  And all of them–counties, cities, villages, townships, school districts and “special” districts (park and conservancy districts, port authorities, etc.) have payrolls.