Columbus – Today, State Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) spoke out after the passage of HB 49, the reconciled version of the state’s biennial operating budget. The bill, agreed on by the House and Senate, includes over $1 billion in damaging cuts to local governments, human services, and education created by tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

“The Conference Report selects a fiscally irresponsible and reckless path to temporarily balance the State Budget,” said Senator Skindell. “It does so by authorizing the use of nearly 3/4 billion dollars of non-recurring one-time monies. Use of these one-time monies creates a structural imbalance, which will leave the next Governor and General Assembly obligated to make deeper cuts of essential state supported programs like health care and needs based financial aid to college students. Remember that Governor Kasich and many Republicans in this chamber once scorned those who used one-time money to shore up a budget decimated by a National Recession a past tax cuts.”

The budget bill includes a freeze on Medicaid expansion beginning July 1, 2018. This freeze would be devastating to Ohio’s most vulnerable populations. According to the Kasich administration, 500,000 Ohioans would lose their health insurance.

“This is not how we build a better future for our state or ensure every Ohioan has a fair shot in life. We are turning our backs on folks who are working hard but will not have healthcare coverage in the workplace,” said Senator Skindell. “We are denying people valuable medical services in the state. Our goal as a state should be to increase coverage for medical care and not to restrict it.”

The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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