Legislative update: Ohio House passes budget plan


COLUMBUS — State Representative J. Todd Smith voted in support of the two-year state budget (HB166), a plan which cuts taxes, invests in our schools and supports at-risk youth. It received strong bipartisan support, passing 85-9.

“As with any budget this large, there are items with which I disagree but overall I’m glad to support House Bill 166 as a sustainable and balanced budget. It includes both individual tax cuts for Ohioans and strong investment for our state’s future,” Rep. Smith said. “I congratulate our House Leadership, Budget staff, and members on the Finance Committee for their hard work on this legislation.”

The budget bill, House Bill 166, is the product of extensive work by members of the Ohio House. The Finance Committee and its five subcommittees collectively heard 135 hours of testimony. The House plan builds on the budget Gov. Mike DeWine proposed earlier this year.

Key provisions of the bill include:

• Meaningful personal income tax relief for all Ohioans. The House plan completely eliminates the personal income tax for those who earn less than $22,250 and reduces personal income tax rates by 6.6 percent for everyone else. Overall, the House budget provides an annual net tax cut of $108 million.

•Record funding for Ohio’s schools. The legislation builds on Gov. Mike DeWine’s blueprint and adds $125 million more over the next two years, with more being provided to areas with higher poverty.

•Major investments in foster care, which has been a priority of many lawmakers. The House package doubles funding for foster care above what had been proposed by the governor. In addition to supporting local Jobs and Family Services operations, funding in House Bill 166 would be used to help at-risk youth and support recruiting additional foster care parents.

•Medicaid reform, including increasing pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) transparency and accountability within the Medicaid program.

The budget bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

A new two-year state budget must be signed into law by June 30.