Senate Approves Historic Investment In Education, Tax Cut For Small Business
Senate budget focuses on job growth, economic development
June 06, 2013
[ Frank LaRose Home | Frank LaRose Press ]

COLUMBUS — State Senator Frank LaRose today announced the Ohio Senate approved a state budget that includes a $1.4 billion tax cut for small businesses and makes the largest investment in public education in the last decade. The two-year, $61.8 billion budget also provides funding for state agencies and departments, as well as health and human services for Ohioans in need.

The centerpiece of the Senate’s version of the budget is the small business tax cut, which establishes a 50 percent tax break on the first $750,000 of net income. Small businesses employ roughly half of Ohio’s private-sector workforce and make up nearly 98 percent of all businesses in the state. This change aims to encourage job growth by enabling business owners to invest in their operations and payroll.

“Creating job opportunities for Ohioans and supporting the academic achievement of students have been our top priorities in the Senate, and are reflected in our budget plan,” LaRose said. “I am proud to support this legislation, which gives small business owners the ability to reinvest in their operations and includes a historic investment in Ohio’s children, our most precious resource and the future leaders of this state, by devoting additional funding to public education. . It also provides funding for other programs designed to help prepare students and workers for jobs in high-tech fields that are in demand by today’s employers.”

The Senate’s plan also increases state aid for K-12 education in Ohio by $717 million over the biennium – the largest such investment in the last decade. This increase supports the educational needs of all Ohio children by spreading resources among more districts, while lowering the number of schools on the “guarantee” by fiscal year 2015. The Senate also added $100 million for the newly created “Straight A Fund,” which provides grants to schools for measures that promote innovation and efficiency. An additional $200 million was added to support services associated with the third-grade reading guarantee, and early childhood education will receive an additional $30 million over the biennium. 

Other provisions included by the Senate implement the Governor’s proposal to permit the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to adopt plans to modernize the Bureau’s payment system and establish the College Readiness and Access Grant Program to support early college high school initiatives. Members also increased funding for children’s crisis care facilities, added $1 million to fight human trafficking and added $26.5 million to the Clean Ohio Program, which provides for the preservation of greenspaces and rehabilitation of former industrial sites.

The differences between the Senate- and House-passed versions of the budget will be addressed in a conference committee. Ohio is required to have a balanced budget, and by law it must be signed by July 1 – the start of the new fiscal year.

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