There’s a provision in the House version of Gov. John Kasich’s budget that seems to have been inspired by a public service ad campaign last year. It featured Ohio State’s football coach and the state officeholder who’s announced he wants to try again to unseat Democratic US Sen. Sherrod Brown next year.
State treasurer Josh Mandel’s office said the goal was to raise awareness of the STABLE savings account program for disabled people, which Ohio was the first in the nation to establish. The ad campaign cost $1.7 million, but the ads were purchased in installments of less than $50,000 – which is the maximum that can be spent before the state Controlling Board, which oversees expenditures, gets involved. An amendment to the budget would require the Controlling Board to approve any spending for ad campaigns over $50,000, even if it’s done in smaller increments. The ads ended just as Mandel announced he’d be running for the Republican nomination for US Senate next year.