COLUMBUS—State Representative Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro Township) announced that the Ohio House has taken steps to finalize Ohio’s state operating budget in a historic vote that resulted in House members voting to override 11 of Governor Kasich’s 47 vetoes.

"We have made great strides and will now need to make many more as it relates to cost containment and balancing services the executive has extended without full legislative support,” said Hagan. “Medicaid was the single greatest cost driver in the state budget prior to the executive's push for expansion and now we are looking at this fiscal year plus the next biennium at $15 billion of new Medicaid expansion dollars. The Governor stated that he sees an additional $1.4 billion gap between the as-passed budget and revenue projections. It is well overdue that the legislature exert authority over managing costs and the decision making process as a whole."

The House voted in favor of keeping provisions:

• Ensuring legislative oversight of Controlling Board authority to adjust appropriations and create new funds
• Limiting ability for optional groups to be covered under Medicaid
• Increasing legislative oversight for rules pertaining to Medicaid rates
• Preserving Medicaid payment rates for nursing facility services, neonatal and newborn services, and long-term managed care
• Requiring Controlling Board authorization for certain Medicaid expenditures
• Directing the Department of Medicaid to request a federal waiver to implement the Healthy Ohio Program

"It is my belief that it is neither service-hearted nor compassionate to give what you don't have. It is simply fiscal irresponsibility and unfair to all of the recipients of services the state previously committed to providing that will now be undercut in an attempt to make ends meet,” said Hagan. “The government cannot be run on good-will alone, it is run on taxpayer dollars and it was Margaret Thatcher who put it in simple terms, ‘Pennies do not fall from Heaven, they are earned here on earth.’ It is wise to be prudent with the dollars entrusted to us and it is wise to manage costs before they are too far out of control. We have a responsibility to stabilize our budget for now and the future. Although I could not support the growth in spending, I am proud that the legislature has taken a significant step toward restoring balance by overriding many of the governor's line item vetoes and ensuring that the People's House has a restored voice on budgetary matters."

This is the first time that the Ohio House has opted to override a veto during Kasich’s six-year tenure. The 11 provisions receiving a favorable override vote will now go to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

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