COLUMBUS—State Representative Craig Riedel (R-Defiance) announced that the Ohio House has taken steps to finalize Ohio’s state operating budget in a historic vote that resulted in House members voting to override 11 of Governor Kasich’s 47 vetoes.
“These historic veto overrides sent a clear message to all Ohioans. The House is willing to fight for critical issues that are important to Ohio’s future. The MCO franchise fee provision reestablishes vital revenue sources back to local governments to help fight the opioid epidemic and give them the funds they need to offer essential programs to their communities,” said Rep. Riedel. “We have reasserted our legislative authority by transferring the appointment authority of the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission from the Governor back to the General Assembly. We also have worked within our scope of power to reel in the potential runaway costs associated with the Medicaid program. The House is not done. I will continue to fight the unfair vetoes for the sake of the 82nd District and the people across the state of Ohio.”
The House voted in favor of keeping provisions:
• Ensuring Controlling Board authority to adjust appropriations and create new funds
• Limiting ability for optional groups to be covered under Medicaid
• Increasing legislative oversight for rules pertaining to Medicaid rates
• Preserving Medicaid payment rates for nursing facility services, neonatal and newborn services, and long-term managed care
• Delaying addition of behavioral health services to Medicaid managed care until July 2018
• Requiring the Department of Medicaid to request federal permission to increase the health insuring corporation (HIC) franchise fee
• Requiring Controlling Board authorization for certain Medicaid expenditures
• Directing the Department of Medicaid to request a federal waiver to implement the Healthy Ohio Program
• Transferring the appointment authority of the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission to the General Assembly
The federal government had previously eliminated the ability for local governments to collect sales tax from managed care organizations (MCOs), hampering many local governments’ revenue stream. The vote retains language that replaces the tax with a franchise fee on Medicaid MCOS for the next six years. The additional funds raised will be distributed to each county and transit authority that experiences reduced sales tax revenues due to the cessation of the sales tax on Medicaid health insuring corporations, providing more aid to counties in their fight against the opioid epidemic.
This is the first time that the Ohio House has opted to override a veto during Kasich’s six-year tenure. The 11 provisions receiving a favorable override vote will now go to the Ohio Senate for further debate.