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Government & Politics

Ohio Lawmakers Work on Final Budget Deal

photo of the Ohio Statehouse

State lawmakers are trying to hash out a final budget deal that they can send to the governor’s desk. This includes how they’ll spend money to fight the opioid epidemic while closing a more than $1 billion budget hole. There’s a big issue that looms over the discussion.

The largest chunk of state spending is Medicaid. 

But the Congressional health care debate includes talks of dramatically cutting federal funding for Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, the latter has enrolled more than 700,000 Ohioans.

Keary McCarthy with the liberal-leaning Innovation Ohio says there’s not much state leaders can do, but the secretive process hasn’t helped.

“It makes it very difficult for stakeholders like policymakers and governors in states like Ohio to weigh-in and have an impact," McCarthy says.

Republican State House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says his members are focusing on the state’s budget and will be prepared for what Congress decides.