COLUMBUS – The Ohio General Assembly yesterday passed House Bill 110, the state’s two-year operating budget for Fiscal Years 2022-2023, announced State Rep. Brian Stewart (R-Ashville). The legislation highlights include a new school funding reform plan, tax relief, jobs and economic support, broadband expansion, and several other initiatives.
“I’m proud that we successfully made expanded broadband internet access a major focus of this budget,” said Stewart. “The current lack of broadband access in Ohio denies employment, education, healthcare, and commerce opportunities to at least one million Ohioans. I look forward to seeing House Bill 2’s vision for facilitating the expansion of high-speed internet serving households across Ohio.”
H.B. 110 makes a historic commitment to expanding broadband in Ohio by committing $250 million to support grants under the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program and the Ohio Broadband Expansion Program Authority. The plan, authored by State Representatives Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) and Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Twp.), as House Bill 2 and signed into law last month by Governor DeWine, targets the problem of last mile connectivity to households where it remains cost-prohibitive for private providers to otherwise extend their service.
Other highlights of the budget include:
- Fair School Funding Plan – The new state budget includes the Fair School Funding Plan, co-sponsored by Stewart, which is the result of three years of work between educators and policymakers.
- National Guard Scholarship Improvement – The budget includes Rep. Stewart’s amendment to expand the Ohio National Guard Scholarship to cover apprenticeship, adult education, and vocational opportunities, in addition to traditional 4-year degree programs.
- Tax Relief – The budget includes a 3 percent across the board personal income tax cut. It reduces the number of tax brackets from five to four, and eliminates the income tax for anyone making less than $25,000 per year.
- Keeping & Creating Jobs – H.B. 110 includes $155 million to help industries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and help Ohio remain a competitive state to work and live.
- Supporting Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Veterans – This budget includes funding for training and equipment, as well as support for veterans organizations.
The budget bill now heads to Governor Mike DeWine for his review. It must be in place by June 30.