Work is underway in Columbus on the new two-year state budget for Ohio. Once again, I will serve on House Finance Committee (10 Democrats and 21 Republicans). We must work together to do what is best for all Ohioans.
The new budget proposed by Gov. Kasich is over $63 billion ($7 billion more in spending). The Medicaid expansion will make 365,000 more Ohioans eligible for coverage (currently 2.3 million Ohioans). Once you factor in additional costs, additional federal reimbursements and eligibility changes, the state expects to net close to $500 million dollars.
Schools were cut over $1.5 billion dollars in the governor’s last budget. The new money in this budget doesn’t make up for the cuts and it fails to address the major components of a constitutional school funding formula (equity and adequacy). The governor also wishes to expand vouchers, which will hurt our public schools. In local government, over $600 million in cuts weren’t restored.
The governor is proposing an income-tax cut that would see a $144 reduction for middle-income families, while the top 1% would see a reduction of $7,777. The governor is also proposing a half-percent sales tax cut, while launching a $7 billion tax increase on “services” over the next two years. Some of the many services to be taxed include auto repairs, debt counseling and haircuts. Some services exempt from the tax are golf and tennis lessons, and health services. There will be a lot of debate about the budget. Again, we must work together to do what is best for all Ohioans.
Feel free to contact me with your questions about state government at 614-644-5076 or Rep55@ohiohouse.gov. I work for you and look forward to serving you.