FitzGerald plan: restore funding to communities

Restoring funds to local governments and providing assistance to small businesses highlight Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald’s plan to improve Ohio’s economy, the candidate said Friday.

FitzGerald, who is running against Gov. John Kasich in the November election, said the governor cut the state’s Local Government Fund significantly, resulting in less money for local communities.

“The Local Government Fund plays a big part in how local communities survive,” FitzGerald said. “The governor cut that fund by 50 percent, and it continues to have enormous consequences for the average person in Ohio.”

FitzGerald said cutting the fund in half has forced communities to raise taxes and lay off firefighters and police officers.

Connie Wehrkamp, communications director for Kasich’s campaign, said FitzGerald’s claims of budget difficulties are inaccurate.

“Ohio’s improving economy is strengthening our communities,” Wehrkamp said in an email. “With more than 97 percent of Ohio’s counties, cities and villages reporting budget surpluses at the end of 2012, combined local government revenues on track to increase $624.7 million since 2010, and police and fire jobs on the rise for the first time since 2008, Ed’s claims of widespread budget difficulties ignore the facts.”

For the full story, see the Saturday, July 26 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.