House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement Monday following the passage of the state budget, House Bill 110. Democrats expressed concerns about a number of provisions within the bill, including a more than $1.64 billion tax giveaway to largely benefit the wealthiest Ohioans and an increase in funding for the state’s EdChoice Voucher Program, which undermines public education in Ohio.
“Ohioans wanted to see an opportunity for Ohio’s future in this budget, and Democrats delivered on the long fight to reform our broken school funding system. While this budget delivered for some, others were left behind with a tax giveaway that benefits millionaires and billionaires while working people see very little. This budget also saw changes to medical care as we continue to battle a pandemic, cuts to clean water infrastructure, and provisions that undermine the overwhelming majority of Ohioans who wanted fair districts with no strings attached,” said Leader Sykes. “There’s a lot to like in this bill, but I feel we missed a real opportunity to make the investments we need to grow jobs, strengthen our economy and expand opportunity for all of us, not just some of us, as we begin our recovery.”
Additionally, Democrats opposed several public policy measures within the budget, including attacks on healthcare access for LGBTQ Ohioans and abortion care, as well as undermining police accountability measures and Ohio’s new redistricting reforms.
Democrats, however, did applaud the inclusion of $250 million for broadband development in underserved areas as well as the reinstatement of the Fair School Funding Plan, an improved public school funding formula that better addresses the needs of Ohio students, teachers and communities.
Democrats indicated they will send to the governor a list of requested budget line-item vetoes.