COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representative today passed House Bill 110, the House’s version of Ohio’s two-year budget plan. State Representative Don Jones (R-Freeport) voted in support of the bill. Among various aspects, the bill creates the Fair School Funding Plan and allocates millions of dollars directly to Appalachia Ohio through several organizations and programs.
“I was proud to play a part in determining the best way to balance this biennium’s budget and vote in support of it during today’s session,” said Jones. “Reserving funds for Appalachia Ohio is a priority of mine and I’m pleased to see so many impactful organizations in the 95th House District receive the funding they need to help Appalachian families continue to prosper.”
The school funding reform plan included in the legislation is the result of more than three years of work by educators and policymakers. The Fair School Funding Plan is fair to all of Ohio’s public schools and its formula is predictable, sustainable and transparent. It will be phased in across the state over the next six years, beginning with the 2021-22 school year and is designed to ensure no school districts lose funds during the transition into the new formula.
According to Jones, the House’s proposed budget does a fair job in allocating funds to Appalachia Ohio, including making the following appropriations:
- $8 million for the Rural Industrial Park Loan program, bringing the fund to $18 million
- $10 million each fiscal year for Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
- $2.728 million for Appalachian New Economy Partnership, with funds supporting Ohio University to continue a multi-campus and multi-agency coordinated effort to link Appalachia to the new economy.
- $200 thousand each fiscal year for iBelieve, a foundation that works to provide opportunities for Appalachian youth to develop twenty-first century skills, including leadership, communication and problem-solving for college access and retention
- $1.175 million each fiscal year for Children’s Hunger Alliance to assist with meal sponsorship, early child care programs, child care, consultations and nutrition education, school district nutrition programs, after school nutrition programs and summer nutrition programs
- $750 thousand each fiscal year for Appalachian Children’s Coalition to address systematic challenges children face in Southeast Ohio Legislative Information Systems
The legislation also includes the following initiatives aimed to benefit all Ohioans:
- Includes a 2 percent income tax cut across the board. The tax cut will reduce taxes and withholding amounts by approximately $380 over the biennium.
- Supports jobs and Ohio’s economy through targeted investments to support job retention and creation, workforce training and economic development efforts.
- Supports law enforcement, firefighters and public safety by funding a series of initiatives to support those who protect and serve Ohioans every day.
- Improves government oversight and accountability to ensure state resources are being spent responsibly and used in a manner consistent with the intent of the General Assembly.
- Appropriates $155 million for COVID-19 relief grants to support industries negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Transfers $10 million from the General Revenue Fund to the Meat Processing Investment Program Fund to be used to make grants to meat processing plants for facility improvements and capacity expansions.
The above are highlights of the very complex bill. More information on Sub. House Bill 110 can be found at https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA134-HB-110. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.