The Ohio House of Representatives today passed a bipartisan, comprehensive state operating budget that provides crucial assistance to schools and community programs, while at the same time reducing the burden on Ohio’s taxpayers.
In addition to providing Ohioans with a $1.5 billion state income tax cut over the next two years, Amended Substitute House Bill 59 also ensures that none of Ohio’s school districts will receive less state aid than they did in FY 2013, increases funding for special education, mental health services and addiction services, and takes significant steps to make higher education more affordable.
The House adopted an amendment to Am. Sub. H.B. 59 that aims to transform Medicaid and Ohio’s health care delivery system. The amendment will require the director of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation and the director of Medicaid to submit to the General Assembly a proposal to reform Medicaid.
Specifically, the goals of the amendment include:
• Focusing on moving certain individuals off Medicaid and onto an employer-sponsored health insurance or the health insurance marketplace
• Implementing strategies to lower Medicaid caseloads by offering workforce readiness, educational services and wellness services
• Seeking to lower the net state and federal costs for the Medicaid program and reduce the number of individuals who enroll in Medicaid over time
Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) released the following statement on the passage of Am. Sub. H.B. 59:
“Building upon Governor Kasich’s recommendations and his vision for a more prosperous Ohio, the House has crafted and passed a transformative budget that we believe prioritizes the issues that matter most to Ohioans. We have taken sound steps toward ensuring that this budget is fiscally responsible, sustainable, and provides vital services for Ohioans who need them. Chairman Amstutz and Vice Chairman McClain gave us a product that, in my opinion, pursues a comprehensive, forward-thinking tack that addresses the issues we currently face. I applaud them and the members of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee for the time and effort they put in to fine-tuning this budget.”
Chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) released the following statement:
“This budget plan reflects Ohio’s recovering economy. Additional resources are being allocated back to our communities in three main areas: additional health care for the poor, additional money for schools, and additional taxpayer relief. The Finance and Appropriations Committee strived to find a good balance between keeping our state government costs affordable and maintaining the services that many Ohioans rely on. Am. Sub. H.B. 59 achieves that responsible balance.
“I would like to commend the members of the finance committee for all their hard work and dedication, as well as all the interested parties who offered their insight during committee. As the Senate now commences its work on the budget, I look forward to continuing the budget development process and working with members of the Senate in this important endeavor.”