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House Democrats say budget fails to invest in working people, families and the communities they live in

Call budget a missed opportunity to ensure recovery benefits all Ohioans
April 21, 2021
Democrat Newsroom

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and House Finance Committee Ranking Member Rep. Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) today issued statements on the House passage of House Bill 110, the state’s two-year budget. House Democrats largely opposed the bill, saying it was a missed opportunity to invest in everyday Ohioans still struggling amid the health and economic crisis. 

“This budget fails to make the investments we need to meet the challenges before us—an ongoing public health crisis and an economy that continues to leave too many hardworking people behind,” said Leader Sykes. “We warned from the start the danger in this budget is going too small to meet the needs of working people, families and the communities they live in. This budget is what we feared. It lacks the vision and urgency needed to expand opportunity, grow jobs and ensure a recovery that benefits all Ohioans.”

Democrats also noted that the Republican-backed $380 million tax giveaway that largely benefits the wealthiest Ohioans could threaten hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding under the American Rescue Plan.

“Democrats wanted to see a bold blueprint for Ohio’s future. That’s not what this budget is. It’s disappointing that Republicans didn’t want to work with us to invest in the working people and families who have faced unprecedented uncertainty over the past year amid the worst public health and economic crisis in our lifetimes,” said Rep. Crawley. “Instead of making the necessary investments to ensure our recovery benefits all Ohioans, Republicans prioritized another round of tax giveaways to the wealthy that we can’t afford right now—not while so many Ohioans are hurting.”

Democrats offered a number of amendments on the House floor Wednesday, including measures that would:

  • Put more money back in the pockets of working people by making the earned income tax credit partially refundable and investing in local governments and public libraries;
  • Increase access to publicly funded childcare to allow more Ohioans to get back to work;
  • Prioritize coronavirus relief, including investments in public health, rental assistance and waiving unemployment benefit overpayments made to Ohioans during the pandemic;
  • Restore Republican cuts to H2Ohio funding to invest in clean water infrastructure;
  • Raise wages for home health care workers and allow them to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits;
  • Invest in programs to make college more affordable to lower-income Ohioans;
  • Invest in maternal health and morbidity data reporting to improve health outcomes;
  • Increase funding for AIDS prevention services at Ohio Planned Parenthood and removes funding from crisis pregnancy centers. 

Republicans rejected each amendment.

After passing the House, the bill moves to the Senate for consideration.