News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

NOCHE


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Critics say Ohio's budget has too many issues unrelated to spending
And because of that, an Ohio State law professor says they could be changed by voters
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Critics sayOhio lawmakers slipped anti-abortion policy that failed before into the state budget. Last week's last minute protests failed to stop the language.
Courtesy of OHIO PUBLIC RADIO
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The state budget is just a few days old, but it already has plenty of critics – including some of the lawmakers who voted on it.

LISTEN: KASLER ON BUDGET

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:54)


LISTEN: KASLER's EXTENDED STORY

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:28)


The budget debate brought criticism from some lawmakers like Republicans Rep. Terry Boose of Norwalk, who weren't complaining about spending, but about something else.

“We didn’t really vet the numbers as hard and as long as we should have," Boose says. "And why? Because we were doing policy.”

More than money
Democratic state Sen. Tom Sawyer of Akron agreed, saying he is concerned that the budget is being transformed from just a spending plan.

"[It is now] a massive bill grounded in what are primarily policy changes," Sawyer says. "[It is] a close to 5,500-page budget, nearly 5,000 pages of which are policy changes."

And even Republican Senate President Keith Faber said that he did not like some of the policy included in the budget.

“There are provisions in this budget if stand-alone bills came up on them, I would vote against them,” Faber says.

It is not unusual for policy provisions unrelated to  spending to be tucked into budgets. But some critics are saying this one has more than the usual share. There was the exemption of spider monkeys in the exotic animals law and permission for chiropractors to clear student athletes to return to play after concussions. Both were vetoed by Gov. John Kasich.

Rejected bills get new life
The budget allows for a vote on sin taxes in Cuyahoga County and requires a study on facial recognition software to be used by casinos. It includes parts of the bill known as Nitro’s Law, to provide serious penalties for animal cruelty in some cases. And of course, there are several provisions related to abortion, including one that requires a doctor to notify a woman in writing of the presence of a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. That last item is reminiscent of the so-called Heartbeat Bill, which died in the Senate last year. And Nitro’s Law was stalled in the legislative process as well.

Paul Beck, a professor of political science at Ohio State University, says the size of the budget lets such bills make there way into law.

“Sometimes these things get slipped in at the last minute and then the individual member is forced to, without really looking very carefully at all (vote on it.)...  The budget’s a huge bill (and lawmakers have to) kind of gulp and say, ‘Well, you know, OK, I don’t like this particularly, but I’m going to go ahead and vote for the omnibus budget bill.'"

Christmas trees
Greg Lawson of the conservative think-tank the Buckeye Institute puts it this way.

“Budgets become Christmas trees," Lawson says. "There are a lot of issues out there that people want to see move forward; this provides the opportunity to be able to do it.”

But critics do have a way to fight back against the parts of the budget that are policy-only and not related to spending, says Ohio State law professor Dan Tokaji.

“If the Legislature includes in the bill other provisions that make permanent changes to the law of the state of Ohio, then that ought to be subject to a referendum,” Tokaji says.

But there’s a quick time frame, just 90 days to file the paperwork and gather the signatures to put any disputed issues before voters.

Paid workers have been able to make that happen, but many groups that advocate for and against causes do not have the funds to put together a petition drive in such a short period of time. But abortion rights supporters say they have lawyers looking into this and other options.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio's Supreme Court narrowly upholds Ashford Thompson's death sentence
"Justices" William O’Neill, Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger should all be immediately removed from the court. If they could actually believe that this murde...

Ohio's Sen. Brown is pushing for more assistance for homeless vets
That would be a great program to have for the homeless vets. Many of them are still suffering from PTSD even from the Vietnam war.

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University