STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today announced the Senate’s passage of the state’s two-year budget proposal with vote of 23-10. The bill includes substantial new funding for education and more than $1.75 billion in net tax relief for hardworking Ohioans and small business owners. 

“The Senate’s budget proposal makes state government more accountable and fiscally responsible by reducing proposed spending by $1.7 billion and increasing services to those who are most in need to help lift folks up and out of poverty and toward a sustainable career,” said Senator Burke.
 
Senator Burke noted the inclusion of an increase of funding support for the Hayes Presidential Center located in Fremont, Ohio.
 
“The Hayes Center is a popular site, attracting thousands of visitors each year,” said Senator Burke. “Since this site receives no federal support through the federal system of presidential sites, it is up to the state of Ohio to preserves this rich historical museum.”

The Senate plan also included provisions, supported by Senator Burke, that help counties with smaller populations to create county land banks. 
 
“My county officials expressed their desire to utilize county land banks to help clean up blighted properties and reinvigorate neighborhoods,” said Burke. “This change in law will allow our smaller counties to utilize this successful program, and will greatly help our rural communities across the state.”

Among the major highlights in the bill, the Senate plan:

  • Tax Cuts: Reduces Ohio’s income tax rate by 6.3 percent, returning $1.26 billion to taxpayers over the next two years, allowing Ohioans the opportunity to keep more of their hard-earned money.
     
  • Small Business Tax Relief: Eliminates the entire state tax burden on small businesses with income up to $250,000 and creates an innovative, new 3 percent flat tax for small businesses above that income level. This allows small businesses, the backbone of Ohio's economy, the opportunity to invest back into job creation and infrastructure.
     
  • Reduces Spending: Overall spends less than any previous state budget plan introduced this year. It also reduces proposed overall Medicaid spending by more than $1 billion, giving the state the opportunity to focus on finding efficiencies and improved patient outcomes.
     
  • Investing in K-12: Invests more than $935 million new dollars into students and schools over the next two years ($351.5 million in FY16 and maintains that additional funding in FY17 and adds $233 million more), holds all districts harmless to FY15 funding amounts. It provides an opportunity for predictability and sustainability for school districts, driving additional dollars to low-wealth, low-capacity districts while ensuring more districts are on the funding formula. The Senate-passed version of the budget also implements various testing reform recommendations of the Senate Advisory Committee on Testing, such as reducing hours of required testing.
     
  • Higher Ed Affordability and Support: Makes the largest state investment in SSI (state share of instruction) for higher education in eight years. The bill also gives college students and their families the opportunity for a more affordable college education by instituting a two-year freeze on tuition rate increases and requiring Ohio’s public universities and colleges to find ways to reduce student costs by five percent.
     
  • Support for Essential Services: Restores or provides additional funding for essential services, such as pregnancy care, breast and cervical cancer screenings for women, foodbank services, various health care and youth programs, all which give Ohioans opportunities to improve their lives, health and economic situation. 


“The Senate anticipates that projections for this population should self-correct in conference committee, however, we felt it was necessary to take a responsible approach and fully restore funding by adding $12 million in Fiscal Year 16 and $21 million in Fiscal Year 17, to get us back to the As Introduced version, and allow the Governor’s policy on waivers retake its balanced approach.  Remember, this not only restores funding for the Governor’s waiver expansion policy, but it also provides the funding that was dedicated to County Developmental Disability Boards that were largely impacted by the loss of TPP Revenue," added Burke.

The budget bill will now be referred to a conference committee where the House and Senate versions will be reconciled. The Ohio Constitution requires that the budget be balanced, and, by law, the bill must be signed by the Governor by July 1.

The Ohio Channel will begin broadcasting the Conference Committee at 10:00am on Friday, June 19, 2015. To watch the live stream, visit http://www.ohiochannel.org/.

 
 
 
  
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