Ohio budget

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.

photo of Fred Strahorn
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Democratic leaders in the state are making one last push to change some provisions they’re most concerned about in the state budget bill.

House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn of Dayton says the Senate budget makes too many cuts at a time when more money needs to be invested in schools, infrastructure and fighting the opioid epidemic.

Strahorn argues that giving schools less money will have a domino effect.

photo of Gov. John Kasich
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

An income tax break for Ohio’s small businesses in recent years is under fire from Democrats and some Republicans. They say the current budget situation shows it’s time to end that tax cut. Gov. John Kasich is firmly rejecting those suggestions.

The Kasich administration has said a small business tax cut passed in 2013 to spark job creation is not the cause of the state’s budget shortfall, which is approaching a billion dollars. But Democrats are saying it’s not doing what it was intended to do. 

The tax cut is targeted toward small businesses that report revenue as personal income, and the Ohio Department of Taxation says it cost the state around $1.1 billion last year. But critics such as Democratic Sen. Michael Skindell say it hasn’t created jobs – just a huge tax loophole.

photo of school bus
PEXELS

Both the House and Senate increased the amount the state will spend on its 610 school districts beyond Gov. John Kasich’s original budget proposal. But school leaders are concerned about a big cut that’s remained through all three versions of the budget.

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