For the first time in 12 years, a two-year state operating budget has passed the full Ohio Senate without a single “no” vote. The Senate will send the $69 billion spending plan to a conference committee to work out conflicts with the House version.
Republican Finance Chair Matt Dolan said children and families, education, the environment, and local government were the Senate’s priorities. And he defended the 8% income tax cut and the restoring of the $250,000 small-business income tax deduction – a $700 million tax cut.
“We’re saying the best investment is to return your money, to return the money to small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy here in Ohio,” Dolan said.
But despite their concerns, all nine Democrats voted for the budget. Sen. Vernon Sykes said there was compromise and good things in the budget, but also bad things.
“The across-the-board tax cut, that really is unnecessary. We don’t need to do this at this particular time,” he said.
The unanimous vote, the first for a budget in the Senate since 2007, sends the budget to the conference committee. Its members will be named next week.
The budget must be signed into law by June 30.