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Government and Politics

New bill could limit the power of Ohio's Controlling Board, which few people knew it had to begin with
Northeast Ohio Rep. Ron Young says his bill would allow the Controlling Board to only deal with smaller and finite amounts of money

Jo Ingles
Ohio's Controlling Board voted 5-2 to accept $2.5 billion in federal Medicaid funding after conservative state lawmakers refused to expand the program.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
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Many conservative state lawmakers were angered last month when Republican Gov.John Kasich used the little-known Controlling Board to accept $2.5 billion in federal dollars to allow Medicaid expansion.

Now Republican House Rep. Ron Young of Lake County has introduced a bill would keep the board from being used as a way to bypass the Ohio Legislature.

LISTEN: Ron Young explains his proposed bill

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“This would create a situation where, if the Controlling Board decided to go off the reservation, they wouldn’t be able to live off the reservation long. They could only deal with finite amounts of money. They couldn’t simply do whatever they thought was nice simply because they thought it was nice."

The Controlling Board is made up of six lawmakers -- three from the Senate and three from the House, as well as the governor's appointee. It voted 5-2 for the Medicaid expansion after lawmakers refused to take up the issue.

Besides the Medicaid expansion money, the board has been the vehicle for Ohio to accept $100 million in Race to the Top grants from the U.S. Department of Education  and $204 million to assist low-income people with their electric bills.

Young’s bill would severely limit the board’s authority to appropriate new funds for agencies.

Young says there is a failsafe to deal with an emergency issue by allowing appropriations above the caps through a unanimous vote of the board.

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