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Burkley: Getting our federal budgeting in order
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013 10:36 AM

 

From the State House by Rep. Tony Burkley

There’s no doubt that our nation has been going through a time of many financial struggles. The recent federal government shutdown only highlights this, and I’m hopeful that progress will be made to set us on the right path for the future.

Here in Ohio, one of the tools we have in place to assist our state’s financial health, is a requirement in the Ohio Constitution that our state budget be balanced. This makes the decision-making process for legislators all the more challenging during budgeting season, but we all recognize that it is good for Ohio as a whole.

Our nation’s debt is now at $17 trillion, so the question is raised of why the federal government cannot balance the books like we do at the state level.

Our Founding Fathers knew that it would be important for the states to have a check on the federal government. That’s why a system was put in place to amend the United States Constitution. With our country at a crossroads, it very well may be the time to adopt a federal balanced budget amendment.

House Joint Resolution 7, which was recently introduced at the Ohio House, calls for a federal constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. If this convention were to take place after 34 states call for a balanced budget amendment (and about half of them already have), it would take 38 states to ratify the amendment.

If Congress cannot fix the financial problems facing the United States, it is important that we explore other avenues and make the voices of Ohioans known. It’s my hope that Washington will take notice and that steps for a more sustainable future will be put in place. After all, this is what leads to economic growth, more jobs, and better lives for our citizenry.

Rep. Burkley may be reached by calling 614-644-5091, e-mailing Rep82@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Representative Tony Burkley, 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.