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Government and Politics

Conference committees look for compromise on Ohio budget bills this week
State House and Senate bill must be reconciled

Karen Kasler
Speaker Bill Batchelder says it isn't always easy, but it's common.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session this week, but most of the action will be happening behind-the-scenes at conference committee meetings this week. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has a preview.

LISTEN: Ironing out the details

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LISTEN: Ironing out the details -- abbreviated

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Three state representatives and three senators will have to work out the differences in two big parts of the governor’s budget update this week.

On the big appropriations bill, the six members of the conference committee will have to deal with the Senate’s additions to the House bill for an accelerated phase-in of an income tax cut, an increased small-business tax deduction and a doubling of the state’s earned-income tax credit for low-income Ohioans.

And on the education budget bill, the Senate made changes involving teacher evaluations and added a one-year freeze on some decisions that are made through the results of testing.

House Speaker Bill Batchelder says it sounds difficult, but this happens all the time.“This is kind of like a bad horse race. Obviously we’re going to have a lot of work in the conferences.”

There also could be committee votes on a bill to allow for Breathalyzer-type devices to lock down car ignitions for first-time drunk drivers, to allow police officers to pull over drivers solely for not wearing seat belts or securing kids in child seats, and to double the mandatory prison terms for repeat offenders who use guns to commit crimes.


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