Among the items worth applauding in the new $62 billion, two-year state budget is the additional funding for the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. In 2008, voters reauthorized the program, allowing $200 million to be routed into preserving farmland and open space.
State lawmakers moved quickly to approve the first $100 million in bonds. Then, four years passed before they released an additional $48 million. Now the final $52 million will go forward.
Good thing. The Clean Ohio fund brings handsome benefits, such as protecting drinking water, easing floods and discouraging sprawl. The Trust for Public Land recently put a number on the return: For every $1 spent, the fund generates $4 in what amounts to an improved quality of life.