Urgent Action Needed: Call on Gov. DeWine to Stand Up for Ohio’s Environment in the Budget Bill

Ohio Environmental Council, June 29, 2021

We are in the final hours of Ohio’s state budgeting process and we need your help!

The state budget sets policy priorities for the next two years and beyond. A good state budget is vital to protecting our environment. That’s why the Ohio Environmental Council closely watches this process and speaks out to ensure funding and policy changes benefit Ohio’s environment and our communities.

The introduced version of the budget bill was one of the most robust and supportive budgets for clean water and for the protection and expansion of public lands. Unfortunately, as the bill moved through the process, the environment was deprioritized and funding for important programs was cut. Additionally, an amendment added fairly late in the process upends vital democratic systems that could prevent a fair redistricting process this year and have negative impacts on citizens’ ability to fight environmental harms in the courts.

We’re speaking out against these worrisome changes—and need your help!

Call 614-466-3555 NOW and urge Gov. DeWine to VETO the following line items:

  • Urge Gov. DeWine to veto the provision that reforms the process by which state parks, forests and wildlife areas are leased for oil and gas drilling: The state lands leasing amendment, added by the House and maintained with minor amendments in the Senate, threatens public health, outdoor recreation, and a strong environment by aggressively fast-tracking oil and gas development in Ohio’s state public lands. The provision weakens public oversight by eliminating leasing commission consultation from state agency leasing decisions and makes it the policy of the state to “promote” industrial oil and gas drilling in our state parks. This amendment does not align with the DeWine Administration’s past record of strongly supporting and protecting Ohio State Parks and other vibrant greenspaces. Ohioans deserve clean air and safe experiences in our state parks and state public lands. Ohioans also deserve to be part of the decision-making process that impacts property they own and enjoy.
  • Urge Gov. DeWine to veto the provision allowing the Ohio General Assembly to intervene in lawsuits: This provision in the budget bill will substantially quell lawsuits to challenge unconstitutional laws, which calls into question the concept of separation of powers by pitting the executive branch’s power to enforce the laws that the legislature passes. We urge the veto of this provision due to the impact it will have on future litigation (especially environmental litigation), the judicial system as a whole, and because this provision upends the bipartisan redistricting processes Ohio voters overwhelmingly reformed in 2018.

The power of our combined voices can not be overestimated. Please take action with us today to ensure a healthier, safer, and cleaner environment for all Ohioans.