COLUMBUS– Senator Uecker (R–Loveland) today announced the passage of House Bill 59, the state’s two-year operating budget. This budget entails the largest single tax cut in the history of the state of Ohio giving tax relief to 98.5% of all Ohioans.

“I am proud of the state legislature for achieving such significant accomplishments in this year’s biennium budget,” said Uecker. “In addition to these tax reforms, included in the passage of this legislation I have helped lessen the hardships that many of our veterans experience as a result of the current state of the economy by expanding the veterans property tax exemption, which allows organizations to continue to operate and provide those who have served a place to come together.”

The bill authorizes $2.7 billion in tax cuts, which includes a 10 percent income tax cut over the next three years. The bill also delivers much-needed tax relief for Ohio’s small businesses through a 50 percent cut on the first $250,000 of net business income. Small businesses comprise 98 percent of the state’s employers and employ approximately 47 percent of all Ohioans.

 

In addition to administering tax relief that is vital in keeping our economy healthy and growing, the bill also works to modernize and streamline the state’s outdated and complicated tax code and establish a fairer and more comprehensible system that promotes job growth. To do this, the bill eliminates many exemptions, credits and loopholes. The plan works to shift the state away from its current reliance on income taxes toward a structure that relies more heavily on consumption taxes.

The proposal, which will become law with the Governor’s signature, also contains a $717 million increase in spending on primary and secondary education, the largest legislative investment in public schools in more than a decade. The bill also includes $250 million for the newly created “Straight-A Fund,” which provides grants to promote innovation in our schools and efficiency in district operations and more than $78 million to support important early childhood education programs. 

“Public education is seeing the largest investment from the state of Ohio that it has in over a decade,” Said Uecker. “Helping our younger generation is vital to the future of Ohio; with this budget I am pleased to say that I have been able to continue my strong support of the pro-life movement and vigorous efforts in protecting the unborn.”

The higher education plan instituted by House Bill 59 is a model for the nation that focuses on graduation and degree completion, not simply student enrollment. The plan also serves Ohio’s rising student population by establishing a 2% cap on tuition increases at all of Ohio’s public universities. Over the past 5 years, Ohio has had the second lowest tuition increases for public universities. 

Additional Provisions Include:

  • Local Governments: Distributes an estimated $27.6 billion in state aid to local governments and school districts over the next two years. 85% of dollars collected by the state are passed along to local schools, governments, and community programs.
  • Reforming Workers Compensation: Reduces BWC payments by 2% for private employers and 4% for public employers as responsible management has created stable fund balances. The bureau will also be empowered to reform its payment system to save Ohio employers $900 million.
  • Investing in Our Workforce: Provides $1 million to train workers in the bioscience manufacturing industry by partnering with community colleges. An additional $2 million will be appropriated to create training programs that will prepare Ohio workers for growing jobs in the oil & natural gas industry.

Supporting Wellness & Safety:

  • Drug & Alcohol Treatment: Invests $100 million in drug and alcohol treatment, and mental health services, including a $5 million pilot project to deal with convicts’ drug addictions after release from prison in an effort to slow recidivism rates and drug use simultaneously.
  • Developmentally Disabled: Provides $5.4 million for home healthcare services for developmentally disabled Ohioans. 

Other Important Programs:

  • TourismOhio: Increases funding by 14%, making $8 million available each year to support and grow the state’s tourism industry.
  • Hispanic & Latino Affairs: Invests an additional 19% in fiscal year 2015 to help serve Ohio’s fastest-growing demographic population.
  • Human Trafficking: Transfers more than $500,000 to the Highway Patrol for equipment to scan commercial trucks to better detect trafficking victims.
 
 
 
  
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Uecker Appointed To Foundation For Promoting Job Creation In Southern Ohio Farming Communities

 

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Senate-Passed Transportation Budget Invests $7.8 Billion For Improving Local Roads And Bridges

 

"This budget takes steps to address the infrastructure concerns of our local communities, with an additional $48 million for county and municipal road improvements," said State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township). "Investments in Ohio's robust transportation system support easier access for companies to reach new markets for their goods and services."