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.

NOCHE

Knight Foundation


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

Pluto: The Cavs and LeBron have to make changes for Game 2 vs. Bulls
Cleveland Press Coverage "WAKE UP CALL" I'm amazed at the writing style of Cleveland's press. Do they teach these optimistic skills in school or is it mandatory...

Akron Children's Hospital hosts career fair
I Love working at Akron Children's Hospital. The children are such a joy to work with. At Akron Children’s Hospital, we’ll take this foundation and build s...

Kasich's budget director takes House spending plan to task
If Kasich is so obsessed with a balanced budget, he is going to have to ask the wealthy to chip in; the middle class has already been tapped out. !!!

Faculty, students not behind proposed University of Akron name change
Mr. Scarborough, although I am sure you only want what you think is good for this University, you have crossed a line which has lit a fire among students,alumni...

Ohio is expected to take on bond debt to save Buckeye Lake Dam
let the homeowners pay for everythink including hiring 50 bull dozers to dig out 2 feet of old mud from the lakebottom and use it to make 10 new islands.this sa...

Petition to put marijuana legalization on Ohio ballots makes progress
I sign on 420 came home made a few calls to send others to. Sign hey hey let move it forward. Get out there a sign people

Ohio's tax commissioner says the ID quiz is going well
I filed electronically and there was no provision to print out a copy that I could find. How do I get a copy sent to my exclusive address of record, including ...

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Copyright © 2015 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