Ohio Auditor Against Governor's Plan to Delay Debt

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- In a rare dissent, Ohio's Auditor voted against Gov. Ted Strickland's plans to delay debt payments to help plug holes in a tight state budget.

Auditor Mary Taylor, a republican, voted Wednesday against Strickland's plan to delay about $400 million in debt payments in the next two years in return for $90 million worth of additional payments through 2021. Taylor's was the lone dissenting vote on the Ohio Public Facilities Commission, which is usually unanimous. The vote was 5-1 in favor of the debt restructuring.

Strickland, a democrat, wants to use the $400 million to help fund state programs at a time when tax revenues have declined due to the recession.

Ohio has never restructured its debt payments. But Budget Director Pari Sabety said the unique economic challenges required thoughtful solutions, and that Ohio's credit rating would not be hurt.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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