COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is seeking to transfer $10 million in office funds to the state’s general revenue fund (GRF). The request was detailed in a letter sent to Ohio Office of Budget and Management Director Timothy S. Keen last month.
“This is how government is supposed to work,” Secretary Husted said. “We made it easier and less costly to interact with our office, ran the office more efficiently, and are now able to send millions to the state’s GRF where it can be better used to support efforts that will improve the lives of all Ohioans instead of government bureaucracy.”
Since 2011, Secretary Husted has implemented a series of administrative reforms that have bolstered office efficiency and streamlined costs. These include:
.Launching Ohio Business Central to enable all Ohio-based businesses to form and renew their business status online, reducing processing times and saving taxpayer dollars;
.Ensuring that all forms needed to start or maintain a business in Ohio can be submitted online, a four-year effort completed in August 2017 that has resulted in four out of every five new businesses now being started online;
.Cutting business filing fees for Ohio entrepreneurs by 21 percent, saving business owners more than $8.2 million to date;
.Partnering with the Cleveland Sight Center to provide improved customer service by reducing the average wait time for callers into the Business Services Call Center from five minutes and 19 seconds, to just 43 seconds with a 95.7 percent customer satisfaction rate; and
.Implementing online voter registration and change of address that has been used by more than 750,000 Ohioans.
These efforts to provide better services at a lower cost have enabled Secretary Husted to streamline operations and reduce spending in the Secretary of State’s Office. During the first term, spending was down $14.5 million compared to the previous administration, representing a 16 percent cut at a time when state spending increased by 17 percent. In his second term, Secretary Husted was the only statewide officeholder to request a cut, not an increase, in his budget. In December 2016, Secretary Husted eliminated the need for any tax dollars to run the office during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Additionally, Secretary Husted has reduced the number of staff needed to operate the office by nearly 42 percent since 2011 and set an 11-year low for payroll in 2018.
Upon entering office, Secretary of State Husted inherited roughly $4 million in cash reserves from the previous administration. Since then, that balance has grown more than 300 percent to nearly $18 million.