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Governor’s veto kills Liberty Union construction funding fix

COLUMBUS – State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) is surprised and disappointed that Governor Ted Strickland vetoed an amendment Schaffer placed in the state’s budget bill helping more than 40 school districts resolve school construction delays, including FairfieldCounty’s Liberty Union-Thurston Schools.

“I can not understand why Governor Strickland would veto a critical reform measure designed to improve the funding of our school building program,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer won approval of the amendment in the Senate Finance Committee this spring, where all Republicans and Democrats on the committee unanimously voted for the omnibus amendment, including the Schaffer amendment. Schaffer’s amendment would lock in school districts that pass levies for their local shares of the joint state-local master building plan on the expedited construction program schedule. In absence of the amendment, school districts like LU-T Schools, due to perceived growth of property values, receive numerous delays getting the state’s share of the money often years after local taxpayers fulfilledtheir part of the agreement.

Schaffer said he asked for, and received, a commitment from the Governor’s staff to continue working to enact the legislation later this year.

But the General Assembly is out for the summer, Schaffer said, and this veto just perpetuates the image that the State of Ohio doesn’t make good on its commitments.

“However, I am committed to continuing to fight for Liberty Union Schools and convincing the Governor that the State needs to build schools when it tells local school district taxpayers it is going to help build schools,” Schaffer said.

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