CHICAGO — Ohio Gov. John Kasich formally launched the work of crafting a new two-year capital budget Saturday by meeting with the leaders of the state's higher education institutions.

Ohio colleges and universities will go through the same process they did during the last capital budget, which is meeting as a group and deciding which capital projects to finance instead of each school submitting a wish list to the state.

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis and Southern State Community College President Kevin Boys will lead a seven-member committee to decide on the projects, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch.

Ohio has 37 higher-education facilities that will divide the to-be-decided capital funding over the next two years. The administration first proposed the new process in 2011, and considered it to be a success.

The new bill will also include money for local governments.

Budget Director Tim Keen said the administration hopes to present the new spending bill to the General Assembly by early next year.

The state's current capital bill, signed into law in April 2012, totaled $1.74 billion. Of that, $1.36 billion came from borrowing. It included $400 million for higher education, $675 million for K-12 schools, and $300 million for local infrastructure. Another $290 was allocated for state agency facilities and $63 million for a state revolving fund for the Public Works Commission.

It was the state's first new capital budget since 2009.

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