COLUMBUS—Earlier this week, State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) voted to approve the conference committee report on Amended Substitute House Bill 49, the state operating budget. With a major focus on combating Ohio’s dangerous drug epidemic and ensuring that schools receive vital funding, the legislation provides support to areas most in need and keeps spending under the rate of inflation over the biennium. 


“By putting additional dollars into things like fighting the drug epidemic and providing a world-class education to our children, we are showing where our priorities are as a state,” said Dever. “While I may not agree with every provision in the budget and wish it did more in certain areas, it is a sound and balanced budget that will continue to put Ohio on a path forward.”


The bill addresses the following issues, among others:


COMBATING THE DRUG EPIDEMIC
As championed by the House through the Ohio HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education and Safety) Agenda, the budget tackles the state’s drug epidemic head-on with funding totaling $180 million in new money. Investments focused on the areas of prevention, treatment, mental health care and workforce programs ensure that communities across Ohio, both rural and urban, receive the support they need to educate young people, help those who are addicted and prevent overdose deaths, which is a statistic that continues to rise.


PRIORITIZING SCHOOLS
Enhancing opportunities for all Ohioans is a central component of the state operating budget with an increase in K-12 education funding by $154 million in FY’18 and $120 million in FY’ 19. The bill also increases per-pupil funding and rewards high-performing educational service centers.


LOWERING THE COST OF HIGHER EDUCATION
The bill promotes tuition guarantee programs to provide more cost consistency to students while also requiring colleges to study textbook expenses in order to ultimately reduce the cost of obtaining a college degree.


Am. Sub. H.B. 49 is now being considered by the Governor.

 
 
 
  
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