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Government and Politics

UPDATE: House joins Senate in passing nearly $62 billion state budget
Republicans say their budget is not perfect, but is progress; most Democrats object

Karen Kasler
In The Region:

UPDATE: 5:30 P.M.:

The Ohio House has joined the Senate in passing a two-year state budget --  with a wide partisan divide.

The nearly $62 billion spending plan includes more money for schools, anti-abortion provisions, and income tax cuts and sales tax increases.  Democrats in both chambers opposed it, but are a small minority in the Statehouse

It goes next to Gov. John Kasich, who must sign it by midnight Sunday.

Here are some of the key provisions:

  • Cuts small-business taxes by 50 percent and income taxes by 10 percent over three years.
  • Increases the state sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent and extends it to internet, digital and other goods.
  • Increases by 12.5 percent what homeowners will pay in property taxes when they pass new levies.
  • Increases funding for addiction services, food banks and for the PASSPORT program, which keeps seniors in their homes.
  • Increases education funding for the third-grade reading guarantee and special programs. 
  • ____________________________________________________________ 

    The Ohio House is still debating the state budget, but the vote is over in the Senate. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.


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    Senate Finance Committee chair Scott Oelslager of Stark County was proud of the budget process. 

    “We worked together to discuss one of the most progress-centered budgets the state of Ohio has ever seen,” Oelslager says.

    But Democrat Capri Cafaro of the Youngstown area described the stripping of Medicaid expansion from the budget this way: “Fiscally irresponsible, heartless, cowardly and shortsighted. “

    Democrat Nina Turner of Cleveland railed against the anti-abortion provisions in the budget, which she also says is balanced on the backs of local communities, the poor and women – as pro-choice activists watched. 

    “And I would kindly ask that the members of this body grow a pair, ovaries or otherwise," Turner says. "I urge a no vote on this bill.”

    Senate President Keith Faber was the final speaker. 

    “I ask you to support it not because it’s perfect," says Faber. "I ask you to support it because it furthers the path.”

    The budget passed the Senate with all Democrats and Republican Kris Jordan of Powell voting against it, and all Republicans voting for it except Peggy Lehner of Kettering. She was absent.

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