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

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Akron General


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


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

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Crisis looms in filling aviation industry jobs in Ohio and the nation
I listened to this story yesterday morning on the radio and just want to add this comment. My son went to school to train as an air traffic controller, and gra...

Cuyahoga Valley National Park considers fire to fight invasives
I'm for the controlled burn. There are not enough people (myself included) who volunteer for the removal of invasive plant species. Therefore, another solution ...

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