Regional meeting on state budget to be held in Pomeroy

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — The Meigs County Commissioners will be hosting public officials and residents from around the region during a public town hall style meeting scheduled for Feb. 20 in Pomeroy.

On Thursday, the commissioners discussed their plans for the meeting and the reason behind bringing representatives from around the region together.

The goal of the meeting is to discuss the budget proposed by Governor John Kasich. This includes the proposed fix to the sales tax loss regarding managed medicaid services, which is projected to have a large impact on counties in the region. Other budget related topics expected to be discussed include proposed cuts to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding and the local government fund.

“The idea behind it is to unite local officials that face the bigger cuts,” said Commissioner Randy Smith.

Regarding the proposed sales tax fix, Randy Smith added that the current proposal from Kasich focuses on making the state whole, but “just kicks the can down the road” as far as local governments are concerned.

The meeting is an opportunity to get the local officials from around the region together to talk with state representatives as they put together their budget plan.

State Representative from the region, including Ryan Smith, who represents Gallia County, and Jay Edwards, who represents Meigs County, are expected to be in attendance for the meeting said Randy Smith.

Ryan Smith is currently the Chairman of the House Finance Committee.

In addition to Smith (93rd District) and Edwards (94th District), the commissioners have invited representatives Ron Hood (78th District), Andrew Thompson (95th District) and Jack Cera (96ht District).

The 93rd District includes Gallia and Jackson counties, along with portions of Lawrence and Vinton counties. The 94th District includes Meigs County, along with portions of Vinton, Athens and Washington counties. The 78th District includes Hocking and Morgan counties, along with portions of Pickaway, Fairfield, Athens and Muskingum counties. The 95th District includes Carroll, Harrison and Noble counties, as well as portions of Washington and Belmont counties. The 96th District includes Monroe and Jefferson counties as well as a portion of Belmont County.

Additionally, invitations are being sent to commissioners of the counties in these districts, who are also being encouraged to invite other officials in their counties, as well as residents of the counties.

The meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20 in the second floor community room of the Farmers Bank building in Pomeroy.

By Sarah Hawley

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews