Senate Budget Amendments, Round 1, Part 2


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Since we last updated you on what was in the Senate substitute bill, we’ve been reading lots of papers and taking notes. Here are some other odds and ends that are in the Senate bill that you may not have heard about.

What’s in the Budget – Senate Edition, Part 2 of 2… (see earlier post)

New Funding
  • Increases funding to children’s hospitals by $4 million
  • Increases funding for local mental health services by reducing funds earmarked for state mental hospitals
Reduced Funding
  • Diverts $10  million from the housing trust fund (aimed at affordable housing) and directs it to county recorders
  • Eliminates funding for the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood and redirects it to foster care
Reversals of Governor Kasich
  • Requires legislative approval to privatize Turnpike
  • Removes authority for local government to have commercial advertising on websites (one of the tools advertised to help address the many budget cuts local governments suffer in this budget)
Reversal of House Amendments
  • Eliminates requirement that all Lottery advertising indicate the percentage of funding Lottery sales provides to education
  • Requires private purchasers of state prisons to pay all state and local taxes
  • Eliminates collaboration incentives for local governments
New Policy Changes
  • Abolishes the Workers Compensation Council after it was revealed the agency has no employees and generates minimal work product on its $1 million per year budget
  • Requires local governments submit salaries and benefits of government workers to state treasurer who will post online (sorry, Buckeye Institute, there goes your sweet monopoly on public employee pay data)
  • Bars local governments from banning fast food restaurants or regulating their marketing or promotions in an attempt to fend off such policies as seen in New York and California that require calorie counts on menus or prohibit toys in meals with low nutritional value
  • Shields achievement test scores for grades 3 through 8 from public records
  • Caps tuition increases at $200 for community and technical colleges (vs 3.5% at other entities)
  • Created a special education voucher program
  • Allows out of state students to attend Ohio colleges and universities at resident tuition levels if they agree to stay in Ohio for five years after graduation
  • Redefines “mobility impaired” to allow people with autism to use assistance dogs
  • Allows awarding of gas cards up to $10 as prizes in skill-based amusement games
  • Authorizes school districts to combine property and income tax levies in a single ballot issue
Status Quo
  • Senate budget continues the last year of phased-in income tax cut (that was included in 2010-2011 budget)
  • The Senate provides no fix to liquor privatization proposal, despite urging by Senator Grendell and the Fraternal Order of Police
  • The Senate preserves the Governor’s requirement for teachers in low performing schools to re-take licensing tests, despite the massive conflict of interest the acting State Superintendent has with the testing company.
  • Still no funding provided for smoking ban enforcement
  • Still no funds counted for the implementation of Video Lottery Terminals, despite the Governor’s authority to roll them out, allowing Kasich to decide unilaterally how to spend over $650 million per year
  • The bill still includes the elimination of the estate tax

Sorry for the quick post with shoddy editing, but I want to get this out there so I can focus on some of the rumors I’ve been hearing about what’s going to be included in Round 2 of Senate Amendments to be unveiled tomorrow. If any of the above is of interest to you, let me know in the comments, twitter or email and I can get you the full text of the bill language if you need more information.

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