Coronavirus in Ohio: DeWine issues state government hiring freeze, up to 20 percent in cuts from cabinet

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine announced an immediate government hiring freeze at the state level Monday.

The freeze affects new contract services, the governor said.

In addition, DeWine is calling on members of his cabinet to make cuts immediately in their budgets and spending of up to 20 percent.

The only exception will be for those who are directly fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus and for anything needed to continue that fight, DeWine said.

“Again, some of the departments because of the nature of the work, will not be able to do that, but many can,” he said.

DeWine said the state has also pulled back requests made to the state controlling board for a variety of projects.

“The earlier we start slowing down the spending, the more impact obviously it’s going to have, and so we are doing that right now,” DeWine said.

“This is like the pandemic. The earlier you make these decisions, the better off we’re going to be in state government funding,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted added during the briefing.

Citing the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Husted explained that during a crisis, state revenues go down.

“Remember, we have to balance the budget, state revenues go down, and demand for health and human services, which have a cost, go up, and so we are doing the belt-tightening very early on,” he said.

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