Federal: We are still awaiting additional information about federal funding, but anticipate funding to remain at least fairly level. We should know more within the next few weeks.
State: As Dean Kress mentioned in a recent update, we received excellent news that the anticipated additional 5 percent cut from the state that was to go into effect for the second quarter was rescinded. This means we are still working with our original 5 percent reduction (which we budgeted for) and not a 10 percent cut for the year (which we also planned for, but thankfully will not need to implement). This does not mean that we have been returned any money; there is no increase, simply a maintenance of the 5 percent that was already in place. This is fantastic news. We have been absorbing the original 5 percent cut through good stewardship of operational spending, reduced travel, hiring pauses, and other internal budget decisions (e.g., virtual annual conference) that have helped meet this funding challenge. Dean Kress, Adam Ward, and I want to thank you for your tremendous efforts to continue to offer timely and relevant programs and support to your clientele that brings research to the community in ways that matter in people’s lives. The elimination of the second quarter budget cuts is a testament to the strength of our people and our ability to meet the needs of Ohioans.
Local: Most of the local commissioner budgets are starting to come in. If you haven’t yet reported your budget appropriation to Jesse and completed your appropriations paperwork for invoicing the commissioners, please do so as soon as possible. The outlook appears quite positive, with only a few counties reporting slight reductions. As I have mentioned before, we are interested in know right away if you think your county will be experiencing any fiscal hardships in 2021. We have only heard from a few counties about this being the case; and we are working closely with them to ensure we do all we can to sustain people and programs. Again, your successes and relationships in the local community are what contribute to our ongoing support from our local decision-makers. Continue to tell the story often and broadly (e.g., county highlights and impact reporting to commissioners and in program and county newsletters, success stories and activities in the local papers, and plenty of word of mouth a community meetings). To know us is to love us, but we have to tell the story effectively and often.
Remember that a variety of branded, Extension-focused infographic templates have been developed for your use as you prepare to report local impacts to county commissioners, as well as other stakeholders, clientele, and the general public. The files and some basic infographic tips are posted at brand.cfaes.ohio-state.edu/templates/infographics. More information will be shared in a future issue of News and Notes.