Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

$8 billion shortfall: Can OEPA and ODNR be joined at the hip?

Worries from officials in the past Voinovich and Celeste administrations point to a possible state deficit of $8 billion in the next state budget.

Even if every Ohio state worker was furloughed the deficit would still be $4 billion, these sources say.

Of equal concern is the consolidation of state agencies. That might even include enfolding the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency into the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Such a metamorphosis would be the envy of even BBC's "Dr. Who" and who is in his 11th incarnation.

What such a merger would bring could very well spell a new, revamped, department with increased duties and likely a reduced work force.

All of which could prove fodder for State Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chester Township. Grendell long has been an advocate of merging and combining state agencies.

And for the morale-low Ohio Division of Wildlife this high-profile agency might see some significant changes also, sources say.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


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