Rep. Dever Supports House Budget Plan
Fiscally sound budget bill prioritizes drug epidemic, schools
 
 

COLUMBUS—Earlier this week, State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) voted in support of House Bill 49, the state operating budget. The bill addresses some of Ohio’s most pressing issues, including more than $170 million in funding towards combating Ohio’s opioid epidemic and providing additional resources to schools.


In response to lower than expected revenue estimates, the House restrained spending and facilitated sound fiscal policies by staying under the rate of inflation for the first time in several years and spending about $2.5 billion less than the executive proposal over the biennium.


“This budget tackles some of our state’s greatest challenges, while keeping our fiscal house in order,” said Dever. “I was proud to play a role in helping to shape the state’s priorities for the next two years by offering several amendments to strengthen our public schools, assist individuals in their fight against opioid addiction, and provide resources for job creation. Though Ohio is facing tough financial times, this budget accomplishes a great deal.”


Enhancing opportunities for all Ohioans is a central component of the state operating budget through additional school funding, ensuring that students have the resources to learn and grow. A top priority for Rep. Dever, public schools saw an increase in funding in the House-passed proposal. House Bill 49 increases funding compared to the executive budget proposal by more than $90 million over the biennium.


This also included additional funding for schools negatively impacted by the Tangible Personal Property tax phase-out. School districts in the 28th Ohio House District, such as Princeton City School District and Sycamore Community School District, noticed an increase in funding as a result of amendments offered by Rep. Dever during the House budget process.


To underscore the importance of combating the state’s deadly opioid epidemic, the House appropriated funds totaling $170.6 million in new money to invest in prevention, treatment, mental health care, and workforce programs through the HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education and Safety) Agenda. Resources will be directed as follows:
• $80 million toward treatment (transitional housing, nursing beds pilot program, ADAMHS boards, expanding treatment/detox programs, drug courts)
• $50 million toward supporting children (Child Protective Services and kinship care)
• $19.4 million toward mental health (stabilization centers, residential state supplement, BCI processing lab reports, telemedicine coverage and mental health court pilot program)
• $12.2 million toward prevention (community coalition funding, investing in innovation & technology, accessible educational resources and Start Talking!)
• $9 million toward workforce (Short-term certificates and SNAP workforce & training funding)
Additional provisions in the budget include:
• Simplifying the tax code by reducing the number of tax brackets and eliminating tax changes included in the executive budget proposal
• Providing resources for Ohio’s veterans, addicted, and homeless by increasing available dollars in the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, which provides housing to Ohio’s low-income and homeless populations.
• Addressing Ohio’s rising prison population by expanding options for local communities to divert some low-level offenders from the crowded state prison system
• Ensuring children receive the care and attention they deserve by restoring the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) program and funding it at $3 million per year
• Directing additional resources to the local level by increasing funding for Indigent Defense
• Streamlining state government while ensuring licensure reform efforts by consolidating several state boards
House Bill 49 now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
 
  
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