Next Up: The State Budget Moves to the Ohio Senate
After hours of unexplained recess Thursday afternoon, the biggest news of the day was the inclusion of an amendment offered by Republican Rep. Sears related to Medicaid expansion. The short explanation: the amendment means that Medicaid expansion language is in the budget, which will lead to it being discussed in the Senate.
Other changes in the final days included the removal of a provision limiting the teaching of sexual education that had drawn wide criticism, an academic stress commission that undermines the authority of local schools and districts, and a misguided change requiring that colleges and universities not provide out-of-state tuition paying students with utility bills to verify Ohio voter registration (if they do, they can’t charge out-of-state tuition). For the most part, the bill (HB59) passed including the pieces expected following the sub bill introduced last week.
Now the budget moves on to the Senate, where it will be debated and discussed for the next several weeks (it is expected to be voted out the first week of June). Medicaid expansion remains a – arguably the – hot topic, education funding changes are bringing loud jeers as the House took away $200 million from the Governor’s proposal (which was already far insufficient), and income tax cuts and the “big business” income tax cut continue to be contentious.
We’ll keep you posted as the budget makes its way through the process.