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Final budget talks expected to address coal reclamation cuts

June 24, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio Senate decision to cut funding Republican Gov. Mike DeWine budgeted for reclaiming abandoned coal mining sites is expected to arise during budget compromise talks this week.

The Senate version of Ohio’s two-year state budget trimmed the $4 million DeWine proposed for coal mine reclamation to $2 million.

The Columbus Dispatch reports DeWine intended the funds to replace most of the $5 million former Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) administration withdrew in 2017 to help cover a revenue shortfall.

The health of the coal reclamation fund concerns environmentalists and coal lobbyists. It pools money from all Ohio-permitted mining companies to be used when a company abandons a mining site without reclaiming the land.

Senate Finance Chairman Matt Dolan, a Cleveland-area Republican, said it was unclear the full $4 million was needed.

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