Budget bill could be six pages shorter


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Remember the six pages in the budget that we told you about in which Governor Kasich strips the General Assembly of its oversight authority and hands his unelected Budget Director the keys to sell off state assets and services to anyone he deems qualified?Yesterday, Innovation Ohio issued its new “Taxpayer Rip-Off of the Week Award,” highlighting the outrageousness of exempting these lucky vendors from all state and local taxation?

And now it seems—thankfully—that the legislature noticed it too.

According to Monday’s Gongwer Report, Speaker Batchelder has “concerns” about overbroad privatization authority and believes the legislatures has a role in deciding those issues (gee, ya think?).

And, thanks to our sources on the committee, we also hear that Chairman Amstutz of the House Finance Committee thinks the provisions are “half-baked” and will not be enacted as written.

It will be interesting to see if the proposal is spun off into separate, stand-alone legislation, or simply modified to provide more legislative oversight. The key provision we’ll be looking for is whether the tax exemption for the lucky vendors is retained. That will be a huge missed opportunity to provide revenue to local governments who are otherwise suffering disproportionately to close this budget gap.

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