The State of Ohio's biennial Capital Budget, enacted in each even-numbered year, provides appropriations for the repair, reconstruction and construction of capital assets of state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts. In some years, funds may also be allocated for community projects of local or regional interest. In general, funding for state highways, bridges and other transportation construction is appropriated through the biennial Transportation Budget, enacted in odd-numbered years. Funding for most capital projects is supported by long-term debt issued by the State or, in some cases, by various cash funds.
The process of enacting a biennial Capital Budget, which begins many months prior to introduction of a capital appropriations bill in the General Assembly, occurs within the context of another activity — preparation of the state's six-year Capital Improvements Plan. This plan is updated biennially by OBM on the basis of recommendations it receives from affected state agencies. The process begins in the late summer of each odd-numbered year, when OBM distributes guidelines to the agencies for the preparation of both the Capital Budget and the six-year Capital Improvements Plan.
As with the biennial Operating Budget, OBM reviews submissions made by state agencies and sends its preliminary Capital Budget recommendations to the Governor. When final decisions have been made, the Governor's budget recommendations are introduced in the General Assembly as the biennial capital appropriations bill. This bill, or in some years a separate piece of legislation, will also include capital reappropriations, which reauthorize the appropriation of unexpended balances from previously approved projects to ensure they can continue uninterrupted toward final completion. After debate and approval by the General Assembly, the capital appropriations bill is sent to the governor for signature, generally in time for funding to become effective at the start of the fiscal biennium.