House Budget Plan Makes Positive Reforms For Ohio
By Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta)
May 17, 2013
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Under most circumstances, the bills that are brought before the Ohio House and Senate address only one or two subjects. That is not the case with the state budget, which deals with several subjects and, specifically, how those subject areas will be funded.

Now that the budget bill (HB 59) is in the Senate, I would like to touch upon some of the areas in the budget that most affect the people of southeastern and eastern Ohio.

First, the budget as passed by the House cuts taxes. Beginning next year, income taxes will be permanently cut by 7 percent, which over the next two years will keep $1.5 billion in the hands of Ohio’s workers and families.

Other avenues for tax reforms are being considered, but require more deliberation. Because we felt that the budget process did not grant adequate time to fully look at some of these proposals, the House stripped from the budget the governor’s plans to expand the sales tax and assess a severance tax.

Another important issue that is important to so many families trying to take care of an elderly loved one is called the PASSPORT program. The program makes it easier for able seniors to stay in their homes, rather than having to go to a nursing home. This helps families save money, but more importantly allows them to be closer to the important people in their lives.

Of course, the development of oil and natural gas is a central issue to the people of the region. The 95th House District includes a substantial amount of the productive wells in Ohio. With the positive impact drilling has already had on the local economy, it is important that the workers moving into these fields are trained and educated to do the job.

House Bill 59 put in place measures to make college more affordable, including capping tuition increases at 2 percent annually for all state schools. These schools also have the option of raising tuition by 6 percent one time, then keeping that cost stable for four years. Knowing that tuition will be stable for four years provides certainty for parents and families who are sending their children off to college.

No place in the state understands the importance of educating Ohio’s students and workforce better than the people in or around the 95th District. We are on the front lines of economic growth, and our efforts will mean many more jobs for our hard working citizens.

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