CHICAGO -- Ohio Budget Director Greg Browning unveiled a plan yesterday that would eliminate a $457 million budget deficit through executive order cuts, tax increases, and the possible use of the state's budget stabilization fund.
More than half the projected deficit in the state $13 billion general revenue fund budget for fiscal 1992, which began July 1, will be eliminated by administrative action.
Yesterday, Gov. George Voinovich signed an executive order, effective immediately, cutting a total of about $196 million from most state agency budgets.
In addition, the administration's plan called for $58 million from the expedited processing of outstanding tax settlement and increases in estimated lapses.
The remaining $220 million needed to balance the budget would require legislative approval, according to a statement from the budget director.
Under the administration's plan, $92 million would come from revenue enhancements, including the privatization of state liquor stores and increases in cigarette and liquor taxes.
The administration is also asking for authority to use the remaining $100 million in the state's budget stabilization fund if it is needed to balance the general revenue fund at the end of the fiscal year.
The plan also calls for $27.2 million in transfers to the general revenue fund from other state funds.
In his statement, Mr. Browning said the administration was committed to working with legislative leaders to resolve the budget problem.
"In this regard, the administration understands that its proposals represent a beginning and not an ending to budget deliberations," he stated.
House Speaker Vern Riffe, D-Portsmouth, would not comment on the administration's plan until he had an opportunity to review the proposal, according to Kent Carson, his spokesman.
A spokesman for Senate President Stanley Aronoff, R-Cincinnati, did not return phone calls.
Last week, Mr. Browning pegged the deficit at $440 million, warning that it could grow by $20 million as the administration continued to review the budget.
The latest deficit number -- $457 million -- is $17 million and more than the figure from last week.
Yesterday, Mr. Browning said the deficit was caused by a revenue shortfall of $314 million and $143 million in additional human services spending.
For fiscal 1993, the budget office is projecting a $473 million deficit in the $14 billion general revenue fund budget, which was passed last July by the legislature as part of a fiscal 1992-1993 biennial budget.
A solution outlined by the budget office would eliminate that deficit through $285 million of spending cuts and the continuation of the administration's proposed revenue enhancements for $193 million.
Officials from Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Corp. said last week they expected state officials would move quickly to address the fiscal 1992 deficit situation.
Moody's rates $953 million of the state's general obligation debt Aa, and Standard & Poor's rates $436.6 million of the debt AA.