CHICAGO - The Ohio Senate late Thursday approved a bill that includes the issuance of $975 million of bonds and would eliminate most of a projected $250 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal 1993 budget.
Earlier in the day, the House approved the measure, which would fund capital improvements and trim the shortfall with spending cuts and tax measures.
The bonds would be sold in fiscal years 1993 and 1994.
The state has a biennial budget. The new two-year budget for fiscal years 1994 and 1995 begins July 1.
Mike Dawson, spokesman for Gov. George Voinovich, said the governor will sign the bill when it arrives on his desk sometime this week.
Under the capital improvements plan, the state's Public Facilities Commission would issue $642.5 million of special revenue bonds, payable from the general fund to the commission under a lease-rental agreement.
The Ohio Building Authority would issue the remaining $332.4 million of bonds. While the bonds would also be issued under a lease-rental agreement, $55.3 million of the securities would be for transportation projects and would be backed by gas tax revenues.
The budget-balancing plan calls for $50 million of spending cuts, primarily in the Department of Human Services' budget.
About $190 million of revenues would come from expanding tax base for certain levies and eliminating loopholes for other taxes, according to Paolo De Maria, assistant director of the state's budget office. The state will monitor revenue developments before addressing the remaining $10 million of the shortfall.