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Rep. Lightbody: Budget a mixed bag, but delivers wins for working people

Bill contains fair school funding overhaul, historic investment in broadband infrastructure
June 30, 2021
Mary Lightbody News

COLUMBUS—Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) issued a statement Wednesday following the passage of the state budget, House Bill 110, which included the Fair School Funding Plan, an improved public school funding formula that better addresses the needs of Ohio students, teachers and communities, as well as $250 million for broadband development in underserved areas

“Despite my reservations, I voted in support of the budget. I am pleased that the 134th General Assembly was finally able to pass the Fair School Funding Plan. In 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the process through which schools are funded is unconstitutional. The Fair School Funding Plan provides better balance between contributions from district residents and the state. I also support the provision to expand broadband access without restricting services already offered by local governments,” Rep. Lightbody said. 

“On the other hand, there were numerous items in the budget that are cause for concern. Notably, there was a tax cut that was the most generous to those who need it least which will cost approximately $1.8 billion over the biennium. These are funds that could have been used to invest in everyone’s well-being and will be used to justify cuts in the future. There is a provision that was inserted at the last minute which will allow medical professionals to refuse service based upon their religious beliefs. I hope the governor will use his line item veto to remove this discriminatory provision. Eligibility for publicly funded childcare remains at 142% of the federal poverty level rather than being raised to 200% as I have proposed in HB 145. These are just a few of the items that I oppose and will continue work to address.” 

Democrats did express opposition to a tax giveaway that largely benefits the wealthiest Ohioans and an increase in funding for the state’s EdChoice Voucher Program. 

Democrats have sent the governor a list of requested budget line-item vetoes to address a number of their concerns.