Columbus – State Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) voted “No” today on Amended Substitute House Bill 49, known as the state’s biennial operating budget. Among many concerns, Senator Skindell cited the disinvestment in people and communities and the continuation of tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy as areas where the bill fell short.

“The evidence is clear that there is no Ohio miracle but rather an Ohio calamity,” said Senator Skindell. “The LLC tax loophole created in 2013 and expanded in 2015 has created a massive fiscal hole. This year alone, the budget hole stands at $840 million dollars, and is apparently growing. Ohio's finances are sinking. The current imbalance is comparable to the imbalance we faced earlier this decade, largely caused by the 2005 tax giveaway.”

During the budget debate, Senator Skindell advocated for greater state investment in need-based financial aid for college students, quality childcare programs, K-12 education, public transportation and senior programs like Meals-On-Wheels. Senator Skindell noted that past disinvestment in higher education has made Ohio one of the most costly places for students to go to college. He also expressed concern that many schools in the 23rd Senate District experience a cut in state funding under the budget bill.

Continuing cuts and diversions from local government funding also prevented Senator Skindell from supporting House Bill 49.

“Recent state budgets have not provided the Local Government Fund with the stable and predictable funding source they need to be able to provide critical services to their communities,” said Senator Skindell. “State action has resulted in extraordinary cuts to the revenues collected by our counties, cities, and townships. Meanwhile, the ability of county and city officials to pay for services with locally raised taxes have been hampered.

“In the simplest of terms, the budget we are asked to vote on today offers short-sighted, short-term solutions for long-term problems, such as lack of meaningful investment in working families, lack meaningful of investment in our communities, and lack of meaningful investment to increase the opportunities of all Ohioans. Once more, the wealthy and big business will fare far better than working families under this budget.”

The bill will now move to Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between the House and the Senate.

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