COLUMBUS, OH — State Representative Gayle Manning (R- North Ridgeville) voted to support the Ohio House state operating budget and the bill passed in the chamber on Wednesday. The legislation provides billions in funding over the next two fiscal years to grow the economy and workforce, protect Ohio families and most vulnerable, and invest in educating our communities.
“As a member of the Finance Committee, I was glad to be an intricate part of this budget process to ensure we’re making the right investments to create jobs, provide tax relief, and invest in our education and health care systems to make the lives of Ohio families better,” Manning said. “We have an opportunity to help prepare our future workforce by investing in our universities and career tech schools to help provide the training and education our Ohio businesses need.”
Manning submitted several amendments that were added into the budget package, including:
- Allowing public or private colleges to collaborate with industry partners to create a statewide College Credit Plus Program pathway and allow high school students that are not on a traditional college readiness path to participate in a CCP course and receive industry recognized credit that aligns with in-demand jobs.
- Replaces Ohio College Opportunity Grant with the Ohio Work Ready Grant to provide $3000 to students in an eligible program per year.
- Renames short-term certificates to the Talent Ready Grant Program to support workforce credential and certificate programs under 30 hours.
- Eliminates student retention under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee beginning and requires schools that retained students for the 2023-2024 school year based solely on that student's score on the third grade reading assessment for the 2022-2023 school year to promote those students to the fourth grade.
- Funded the Grow Your Own Teacher Loan Program at $15 million over the biennium, a program to cultivate local teachers within a school district.
- Increased funding to the Children’s Crisis Care Facilities, by more than $990,000 and to the Targeted Addiction Program Fund by more than $990,000 over the biennium.
- Increased funding for the Co-op Internship Program by $75,000 for each university: Wright State University, Ohio State University, Akron University, Miami University, Cleveland State University, University of Cincinnati, Kent State, University of Toledo, Shawnee State, Bowling Green State University and Youngstown State University.
- Increase appropriation by $800,000 to the MAGNET program, teaching high school students machining and welding.
Some of the other highlights of the state budget includes:
- Providing tax relief for everyday Ohioans by flattening and reducing the state income tax from the bottom up to 2.75% for those making up to $92,000 a year.
- Investing over $8 billion in FY24 and more than $8.2 billion in FY25 to fund the Fair School Funding Plan, demonstrating a commitment to providing all students with the resources they need to succeed.
- Investing over $433 billion in FY24 and $465 billion in FY25 for joint vocational school districts (career centers) as part of the Fair School Funding Plan, creating more opportunities for students to gain valuable career skills.
- $500 million in bonus depreciation tax deduction that allows businesses across the state to deduct a large percentage of the purchase price of eligible assets upfront versus over a six year period and continue to grow their companies.
- Providing tax credits for affordable workforce housing in Ohio.
- Indexing homestead exemption for inflation, ensuring that seniors and veterans are protected from increases in property taxes.
- Investing $500 million in the All Ohio Future Fund to benefit all of Ohio with economic development sites.
- Investing $100 million in new training facilities and workforce development capacity at Ohio's colleges, universities, and training providers that will prepare workers for the jobs of the future and ensure that businesses have access to a highly skilled workforce.
- Investing $200 million in high school career-tech facilities, which will provide new opportunities for Ohio's students to gain valuable skills and prepare for successful careers in a variety of fields.
- Providing $200 million in the H2Ohio program that will protect water resources and reduce phosphorous discharge into lakes and rivers, ensuring a healthy environment.
- $160 million investment in water and sewer projects will improve infrastructure and support economic growth, while also ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water for Ohioans.
- $150 million towards the development of vibrant downtown areas to improve quality of life for Ohioans and attracting new businesses and visitors to the state.
- $50 million expansion of broadband throughout the state will support remote work and online learning, while also attracting new businesses and industries to Ohio.
- $50 million in funding for construction and upgrades for township facilities that will improve public services and support local communities, driving economic growth in rural areas.
- Providing $25 million in support to Ohio's county and independent fairs to provide them with a boost to their economic impact through facility upgrades, construction, and create new job opportunities related to tourism.
- Utilizing $25 million to upgrade cultural centers, such as museums and historical sites.
- Invests in publicly funded child care for families earning 160% of the federal poverty level or less will provide critical support to working families in Ohio. This increase from the current limit of 142% means that more families can access affordable and high-quality child care services.
- Over $61 million in additional funding for early childhood education each year that will ensure that more children have access to preschool programs that put them on the path to success in school and beyond.
- $250 million each year to provide vital support for multi-system youth, public children's service agencies, and kinship care programs.
- Establishing the Department of Children and Youth is a significant step in prioritizing early childhood education and health issues in Ohio.
- Funding to support increased wages for many critical workers in the Medicaid-funded healthcare space.
- Investing more than $50 million in upgrades at healthcare facilities around Ohio to increase access to health care in underserved areas, ensuring that all Ohioans have access to the care they need.
- Increasing state support for nursing facilities to provide higher quality care for more Ohioans, ensuring that elderly and disabled citizens receive the care they deserve.
The budget bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.