In early June, Governor Mike DeWine has signed the two-year $3.5 billion Capital Budget (HB 687) into law.
There were several agricultural highlights. Funding from this budget will support $71.5 million for a new state-of-the-art Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
“Funding for this project is critical to the success of animal agriculture in Ohio and to the safety of the food system for all Ohioans. We appreciate that the legislature and Gov. DeWine understood the needs for an updated ADDL at ODA in order to take vital animal disease testing capabilities to the next level,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau.
In addition, nearly $21.5 million in the budget is provided for much-needed renovations the Ohio Expo Commission and Expo Center.
“Although the long-term needs of the Ohio Expo Center will require significantly more funding in order to obtain a viable plan for the future of the facility and events like the Ohio State Fair, this is a great down payment to get the process of revitalizing the grounds started,” Sharp said. “We look forward to working with Gov. DeWine, legislators, the Ohio Expo Commission and the Ohio Expo 2050 Task Force as we put a plan in place to secure the success of the Expo Center for many years to come.”
In addition, $12.5 million was allocated to the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Fund.