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

The Holden Arboretum


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


Budget update passes key House committee, heads to floor
After some big additions to the off-year budget update, it has now passed the House finance committee and will head to the floor.
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Download (WKSU Only)
Lawmakers added a lot of extra items to the governor’s big off-year budget update. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, at least one of those controversial changes in the main budget bill didn’t stay around long.
Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:35)


After few weeks of hearings and just before an expected committee vote, House Republicans added four pages of items to the mid-biennium review or MBR on Monday. On Tuesday, they finalized some of those changes, including adding three bills to help the state battle painkiller abuse. But there were some controversial items that brought debate, including a 10% cut in local government funds for counties that send out unsolicited absentee ballots to all voters. That was obviously aimed at plans by the Democrat-controlled Cuyahoga County Council to vote to send those out, though state law says only the Secretary of State can. When he learned about this, Secretary of State Jon Husted noted that he will be sending out ballots this fall, and criticized Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for governor, for threatening to violate the law. But Husted also blasted his Republican colleagues for putting that in the MBR. 

“It’s a complete overreaction and an unnecessary reaction," Husted said. "This whole discussion has gotten out of control.”

Husted said the state auditor already has the authority to deal with counties that would do this. And though it was clearly targeted at his likely opponent this fall, Gov. John Kasich also called for that to be removed from his budget update. Late Tuesday, House Finance Committee chair Ron Amstutz agreed. 

“We’re taking that out based on the conversation that we’ve had and the understanding that we now have as to what the state auditor has been doing and has the authority to do on this issue, which seems more appropriate than maybe us stirring into it at this time,” Amstutz said.

But the Cuyahoga County Council still voted Tuesday to send out the ballots to all registered voters in the county. That continues a battle that started in 2011, when FitzGerald ordered the ballots sent out for the vote on Senate Bill 5. Staying in the MBR was a line saying that college athletes aren’t state employees – which many viewed as a potential shut down at attempts by athletes to unionize.  Democrat Mike Foley of Cleveland proposed to Amstutz and the panel an amendment to remove that. 

“Given the fact that this language doesn’t do much, and that it does continue a theme that I think we’ve seen over the past couple of years in terms of trying to minimize and diminish collective bargaining rights, that I think this language should be removed from the bill,” Foley said.
 
“Very well," Amstutz said. "What the language does is clarify that college athletes are not employees, which is so obvious one wouldn’t think you’d have to state it.”

Republicans tabled nearly all of the Democrats’ suggested amendments, including another one described by Foley: 

“Mr. Chairman, we kind of liked your idea about these omnibus amendments, so we thought we’d throw a couple of them together ourselves," Foley said. "Unfortunately, our omnibus amendment, at least this first one, tries to get rid of a bunch of the stuff that was in your omnibus amendment last night.”

But Amstutz rejected those amendments that called for increased spending.

“It appears that this bus is an overload, so we’re going to have to pull it over and give it a ticket," Amstutz said. "Too expensive.”

And Amstutz said other Democratic amendments to the MBR, which House Republicans amended just hours before, needed more discussion and could be taken up in future legislation. The main MBR bill passed out of the House Finance Committee on a party line vote, and is expected on the House floor this afternoon. Senate President Keith Faber wants to pass it next month.

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 attorney general rejectsthe latest proposal to legalize marijuana
i think the ag launguage is money hes talking about drug companies must pay him more than responsible ohio can

PBS documentary chronicles the fall of Saigon through new footage and stories
Hi, Does anyone know the number - in the pbs special "Last Days of Vietnam" documentary, of how many Vietnamese were evacuated? Please e-mail me the answer. T...

Protest planned at tomorrow's FirstEnergy meeting
The problems of the poor and downtrodden have nothing to do with First Energy. They are the result of Republican legislators who consistently reduce taxes on th...

Ohio bill would help smaller communities with LGBT discrimination laws
Do we not try and have rights for all individuals equally? On the HUD list of "preferred" candidates who get "special consideration" it states that: For purp...

Ohio likely will continue with two types of police academies
Wake up people your wanting a Harvard law school education for a job that may pay a little over the poverty level. I don't know anyone who could support a wife ...

Police Week's ties from NE Ohio to D.C.
The men and women in blue who risk their lives everyday to serve and protect us....and this is as much recognition and appreciation that NPR/WKSU feels to offer...

First in a Series: How charter schools got a foothold in Ohio
If the interest where in education and there would be oversight of taxpayer dollars, charter schools would be okay. However, Charter School in Ohio are purely f...

Near West Theater raises the curtain at its new home with 'Shrek the Musical'
When I heard you were doing an article about the Near West Theater, I was very excited, because I had seen the lobby artwork in process on the floor of the arti...

Northeast Ohio pastors want to talk reform with Akron-based FirstEnergy
It's great that this First Energy bailout request is getting media coverage. First Energy is asking to be allowed to NOT find the best costing energy to sell us...

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