Perhaps the most important responsibility of the Ohio General Assembly is determining how the state spends its money. The process of crafting a state budget begins when the Governor introduces his spending proposal to the Ohio House of Representatives. From there, the House and the Senate make their respective changes and the two chambers meet to iron out the differences between their versions of the budget. After they vote on the final budget bill, it is sent to the Governor to be signed into law. Earlier this summer, the General Assembly passed Am. Sub. House Bill 64, the state operating budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.


This budget takes many important steps to improve Ohio’s tax climate for both families and small businesses. Overall, the General Assembly and the Governor cut taxes by nearly $1.9 billion over the next two years. An across-the-board income tax cut of 6.3 percent lowers the top marginal tax rate to less than 5 percent, its lowest since 1982.


Additionally, this budget continues the current 75-percent tax cut for small businesses earning under $250,000 and will eliminate this tax altogether in FY’17. Cutting taxes for small businesses will encourage job creation and economic growth in our state by allowing small business owners to keep more of their money to invest back into their businesses.


If Ohio is to remain economically competitive with other states in the long-term, it is crucial that we invest in our children’s education. This budget includes a total increase of over $850 million in state aid from FY’15 to FY’17. Additionally, it will ensure that no school district receives less foundation funding over the next two years than it did in 2015.


With regards to the PARCC assessments, we have continued to listen to the concerns of administrators, teachers, and parents. This budget prohibits state funds from being used to purchase assessments developed by PAARC for use as the state’s elementary and secondary achievement assessments. The Ohio Department of Education has contracted with the American Institute for Research (AIR) to provide mathematics and English/language arts assessments for the 2015-16 school year. 


In addition to supporting our students while they are young, it is just as important to provide them with ample and affordable opportunities to continue their education after they graduate high school. This budget freezes tuition and fees at state institutions for the next two years and requires state colleges to develop and implement a tuition cost reduction plan of 5 percent.


Overall, this budget goes a long way towards ensuring that Ohio has a bright future. By creating a healthy economic environment and giving our children the tools to succeed in it, Ohio is poised to continue its success in the long-term.

 

Related Content

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Engineering Bill Sponsored By Rep. Blessing To Go To The Governor

 
COLUMBUS - 

State Representative Louis Blessing (R-Colerain Township) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives concurred with the Ohio Senate’s changes to House Bill 202, legislation that he originally sponsored.