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Government


Ohio lawmakers will take up income taxes, education and syringes
The state House will be meeting to discuss income tax, early childhood learning and higher education as well as legalizing syringe exchange programs.
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT BILL COHEN


Reporter
Bill Cohen
 
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
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In The Region:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s proposals for a new state budget and the biggest tax changes in four decades are in the spotlight again this week as state lawmakers continue committee hearings on the ideas.

Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen has a preview on that and other issues lawmakers are considering.

Hear Cohen talk about what's coming up next week in Ohio's legislation

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Average citizens and lobbyists for special interest groups will have shot at giving their views on one of the governor’s key proposals: slashing the graduated state income tax by 20 percent for families and 50 percent for most small businesses. That action will take place in a subcommittee of the House Ways and Means panel.

Meanwhile, subcommittees of the House Finance Committee will hear testimony about the spending side of the budget package, including things like early childhood learning and higher education.

Kasich’s proposal to borrow $1.5 billion from future Ohio Turnpike tolls to spend on highway repairs now is up for a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee. The full Ohio House has already OK'd that idea.

Also being considered in committee this week is a proposal that’s been floated for years, but has never passed: It would legalize local syringe exchange programs that would let people trade old, used syringes for clean new ones. Backers say it would reduce the spread of AIDS; critics say it would give tacit approval to illicit drug abuse. 

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