Last week the Ohio House of Representatives passed a conservative budget that grows slower than inflation. It is the slowest growth budget since the Great Recession. In an effort to fund priorities, the budget includes four amendments that were spurred by constituents of Wayne County, and Rep. Wiggam's desire to ensure Ohio’s Medicaid program can best serve our fellow Buckeyes. Short summaries of these amendments can be found below.
Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee (JMOC) Study
Medicaid spending is consuming Ohio’s budget. A majority of revenue expended by the state goes to this fiscally broken program. To ensure Medicaid is in place for poverty-stricken children and those who desperately need the assistance to get back on their feet and pursue the American Dream, we must have statistics available to enact time-tested policies that provide the environment for these outcomes.
This amendment instructs JMOC to conduct a feasibility study on the implementation of a high-risk pool in Ohio. The purpose of this study is to deliver solid data that will help the legislature make critical decisions about how to best manage Medicaid going forward. The second study instructs JMOC to forecast the effects Indiana’s Medicaid health savings account program would have on the state, if a high-risk pool was also available.
Wayne County Regional Training Facility (WCRTF) Burn Building
Our brave men and women of the firefighting community must have access to the best training opportunities available. Currently, the WCRTF has been operated through the dedication and sacrifice of the Wayne County community through donations. Firefighters across the state and from six other states annually travel to Apple Creek to use this facility. However, the burn building has become a safety hazard and soon will be inoperable. This amendment directs $500,000 of capital funding to the WCRTF so this valuable training apparatus can be rebuilt.
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC)
OARDC has been a leader in scientific research that has provided cutting-edge technology to farmers across the world. To ensure OARDC can attract the best scientists to Wayne County to conduct their research, my amendment increases OARDC’s budget by $500,000 to keep pace with competitive salaries and inflation.
Adaptive Sports Program
The Adaptive Sports Program was founded by a Wayne County family that sought to establish a sports program for children with disabilities. Since its establishment, the Adaptive Sports Program has served families and communities in Wayne County, providing children with valuable lessons learned through sports. Originally, the Adaptive Sports Program was not included in the House budget. This amendment simply restores funding to this program for the next two years.