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.

Levin Furniture

Knight Foundation

Wayside Furniture


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

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

Ohio Supreme Court invalidates local fracking bans
If Ohio has their way, Fracking Wells will be planted in the courtyard of every town. That is if the State of Ohio can profit by it...for more on how the court ...

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