Early reports from Conference


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Conference Committee finally convened tonight, after TEN postponements, and the action is well underway. Unfortunately, some budget watchers have lives and can’t sit around waiting through nine false alarms just in case committee actually meets. So tonight we’re getting most of our news via Twitter from those who are in the room.

One early storyline that’s been interesting is teacher merit pay. The early AP report was that “merit pay is in.” An hour later, the Plain Dealer is up with a story that the SB5 merit pay language is actually out, replaced by requirements that the Board of Education adopt “multi-faceted standards” by December, with annual evaluations and limited seniority protections. So the devil’s going to be in the details.

Other tidbits from the twitterverse:

  • Lottery privatization is out (we told you)
  • The pay cut for legislators is out (shocker!)
  • InvestOhio, the proposal to exempt from taxation any gains in an Ohio-based company that is expensive and unworkable is in
  • Kasich’s 2% pension shift (from employers to employees) is out
  • Buzzkill: 18% alcohol in beer and brewery tastings have gone away
  • Nursing homes get $31m more in state funding; $130 million is set aside in a Medicaid slush reserve fund in case the administration can’t save as much as they initially promised
  • Teachers in failing schools will be required to retake licensing tests, though not at their own expense (presumably their failing schools will be asked to pick up the tab, helping the situation tremendously)
  • Charter schools are no longer required to have a sponsor
  • The $17 per-pupil bonus for high-performing (aka “wealthy”) schools is still in

You weren’t expecting good news, were you? Much more to come. We’ll post a summary document as soon as we get our hands on one.

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