COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio House Democratic Leader and State Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) released the following statement after the passage of the state’s two year operating budget – Sub. HB 59. The budget puts millionaires first, while raising taxes on the middle class and continuing to hurt our school and communities. The final budget fails to address Medicaid expansion for hundreds of thousands of working poor throughout Ohio.
“This budget fails the people of Ohio. It fails to adequately fund our schools and communities, it raises taxes on lower income and middle class Ohioans, and it fails to provide healthcare coverage to 275,000 Ohioans in need through Medicaid expansion.
“Today after months of trying to work in a bipartisan manner to ensure the expansion of Medicaid, House Democrats pulled a discharge petition to move Medicaid expansion to the floor of the House for a full vote and ensure commonsense healthcare for the people of this state. Over the last six months we have continually been told, ‘we need more time, we need more hearings, but we do not have more time.’ The clock is ticking and failure to pass Medicaid could cause Ohioans to lose federal dollars and would not allow the state to lay the necessary ground work to ensure those in need are enrolled.
“Gov. Kasich and Republicans’ refusal to work with Democrats for the people of Ohio is a failure of leadership. It is a failure of representative government to execute the will of the people, and it is a failure to every citizen of this state.”
Democratic members of the Ohio House pulled a discharge petition today before session in an effort to move Medicaid expansion – House Bill 176 – directly to the floor for a vote. They called on Gov. Kasich to help get the eleven Republican signatures necessary to ensure the budget reflects the priorities of Ohioans and provides commonsense healthcare to those in need.