COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Monday evening, Ohio lawmakers passed Bill 110, the state’s two-year operating budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, which includes a new school funding reform plan , tax cuts, jobs and economic support, among other initiatives.
Education and childcare
House Bill 110 has several educational and child care factors included in the legislation.
The school funding reform plan included in the bill has been in the works for more than three years and would enact the Fair School Funding Plan, which aims to more accurately measure school district funding using both real estate wealth and the wealth of income to determine the local share.
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Additionally, under the bill, school districts would be phased out of the control of academic distress boards.
Regarding child care, legislation increases publicly funded child care to an initial eligibility level of 142% of the federal poverty line for all families and 150% for families with children disabled.
Ohio’s Help Me Grow parent support program is also being extended to children up to age five under the bill.
The state budget includes several medical impacts in legislation.
Under HB 110, Medicaid coverage for postpartum women would be extended for one year. Currently, coverage is 60 days.
The bill would also designate May as Maternal Mortality Awareness Month.
One element of the bill that has drawn backlash from some Ohio lawmakers is language that would allow doctors to deny treatment to LGBTQ + patients if it violates that doctor’s religious beliefs.
Jobs and economic support
HB 110 includes targeted investments in Ohio jobs, business and economy, including the expansion of government procurement law that would give preference to US and Ohio products. It also focuses on workforce development across the state.
Changes were made to the bill that removed the controversial Senate proposal of asset testing requirements for instant food recipients.
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Additionally, Senate provisions that required the Ohio Department of Employment and Family Services to end federal pandemic unemployment assistance programs by September 4 and the ban for the ODJFS to conclude new agreements with the Ministry of Labor for future aid programs have been removed from the legislation.
Infrastructure and Internet
Under HB 110, $ 350 million would go to a new brownfield remediation fund and $ 150 million would go to the building demolition and site revitalization fund.
HB 110 is also appropriating $ 230 million in 2022 and $ 20 million in 2023 for broadband financing while removing restrictions on local government entities as a broadband provider.
The bill includes several provisions that would benefit law enforcement, firefighters and public safety officers.
HB 110 initiatives include security grants, school security grants, body cameras, law enforcement training investments, firefighter grants, and funding for the Ohio Cyber Reserve.
A tax reform included in HB 110 includes a personal income tax of 3% and reduces the number of tax brackets from five to four. It also eliminates income tax for anyone earning less than $ 25,000 per year.
However, some Democratic lawmakers have said the bill “includes a regressive tax cut and allows Republican legislative leaders to use taxpayer dollars in legal proceedings.”
HB 110 also added Juneteenth as a paid holiday. President Joe Biden recently declared the federal holiday.
“Commemorating Juneteenth as a paid holiday will help us honor the emancipation of African Americans enslaved in the United States. It will recognize the sacrifices and struggles and celebrate the tenacity and triumphs of black Americans, ”said State Senator Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus). “As we celebrate this historic occasion in the years to come, I urge all Ohioans to be aware of the systemic racism that still plagues our society and to continue to stand up and speak out against injustice. Although we have come a long way since 1865, we still have a long way to go to achieve equality for all.
House Bill 110 is now heading to Governor Mike DeWine’s office for his signature.
To read the full invoice, click on here.
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