A line item in the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s budget is set aside for Security and Investigations (HSF line item 764617)
According to budget documents:
The use of the money appropriated to this HSF line item is statutorily restricted for the purpose of providing security for the Governor, other officials and dignitaries, the Capitol Square, other state property, and for undertaking criminal investigations that involve state property interests.
In Fiscal Year 2013, the height of the 2012 Presidential Election, when all kinds of “officials and dignitaries” were visiting our state, this line item was budgeted for $6.4 Million per year.
But in Kasich’s newly proposed budget, the Security and Investigations line item suddenly jumps to $8.8 Million in 2014. And in 2015, it further grows to $9.5 Million.
That’s an increase of $2.5 Million and $3.1 Million each of the next two years – or about $5.4 Million in the next biennium budget.
Since few if any presidential candidates will be visiting our state in that time period, you have to assume the bulk of the money is going to “providing security for the Governor”.
While we don’t know the total cost to Ohio taxpayers associated with Kasich’s decision not to live Governor’s Residence, we do know the Highway Patrol has continuously gone back to the Controlling Board to ask for more money just to keep up, requesting an additional $3 Million in 2011 and another $2.7 Million in 2012.
It would appear this budget more accurately predicts the actual costs associated with protecting the Governor and his family. And that cost has continued to rise under Kasich.