Ohio State Representative Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today issued a statement in support of the finalized version of the state budget, House Bill (HB) 166. Throughout the process, Democrats focused on reversing a decade of Republican cuts and lackluster job growth to restore Ohio’s promise by investing in working people and families. Republicans control a supermajority in the Ohio legislature, but it still took months of closed door meetings and the passage of a temporary budget to decide on HB 166.
"My vote was a YES today, but this is bitter sweet for me. I will talk about the sweet first, because my mother always tells me that you get more bees with honey. At a glance, Ohioans will see that there are some great things coming out of this budget. For example, Ohioans can expect reduced number of tests students must complete to graduate high school, the creation of H2Ohio which invests money for a targeted, long-term investment into pressing water challenges facing Lake Erie, the Lead-Safe Cleveland Fund Pilot Project that will improve housing conditions for children by providing grants to property owners for lead-safe remediation actions, increased Public Library Funds, a first ever annual earmark to Domestic Violence programs across the state, increased funding for foster care services, and even increased funding for my kinship care navigator program that will prevent children from entering foster care and keep families together.
“I am honored that the general assembly views two of my bills, HB 14-the Kinship Care Navigator Program, and HB 3-Aisha’s Law, so favorably that they would double the funding originally proposed by the Governor. These are the kinds of promises we should be keeping to Ohioans. While real progress was made in this budget, the reality is that it does not go far enough to make up for a decade of Republican budget cuts and tax giveaways to the wealthiest among us and to corporations over families.
“When it comes to school funding, we can't keep stripping schools of the funding they need to help prepare our kids for success! To expand Ed Choice vouchers, as if it's some sort of emergency or urgent need, is reckless. This move undermines the committee process- which is a hallmark of the democracy we cherish- members should have time to discuss and debate the merit of the program.
“When I was elected, I made a pledge that when I arrived in Columbus I was here to do what I needed to do to make sure that if you work hard, you can get ahead. This body is called the Peoples House for a reason, we are here to work for you, the people, and that is what I will continue to do. It won’t be easy, but I made that commitment, and that is my Ohio Promise.”
HB 166 passed out of the House 75-17, making its way to the Senate for a vote before heading to the Governor’s desk.