Rep. Lepore-Hagan: $131.6 Billion State Budget Clears House With Attacks On Working Ohioans, Tax Cuts For Richest One-percent
Democratic members say budget isn't a responsible plan for the future, doesn't work for middle-class Ohioans

Today, State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Ohio House Democratic Caucus members stood in opposition to the state’s two-year budget proposal, House Bill 64. Democratic legislators said the bill failed to lay out a real plan for the future of the state and instead advanced partisan attacks on working Ohioans and policies that rig the tax system to help the richest one-percent and special interests.

“The budget should be a blueprint for our future that strengthens families, rewards hard work and builds opportunity for the middle class. Our state’s priorities shouldn’t include more tax giveaways for the richest one percent, and they shouldn’t include more breaks for big oil and gas or charter school magnates at our state’s expense,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “This is a missed opportunity to grow our economy for the long-run by rebuilding our shrinking middle class.”

Democrats offered several alternative proposals* that would have put more money in the pockets of middle class Ohioans, stopped attacks on working Ohioans, ensured equal pay for women, reduced the state’s sales tax and maintained access to healthcare for pregnant working mothers and women needing cancer treatment. The Democratic proposals were shot down along party lines.

“I have worked diligently during the budget process to secure internship money for Youngstown State University and create a review commission to keep the Youngstown Developmental Center operating,” continued Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “However, the widespread attacks on working Ohioans in the budget prevented me from voting for the bill at this time.”

House Republicans scrapped nearly all of Gov. Kasich’s initial budget proposal, but largely kept the philosophy behind an untargeted income tax cut intact. Democratic representatives expressed disappointment with the House GOP’s move stripping accountability and transparency measures for charter schools out of the state budget even as failing, for-profit charters are set to receive a record amount of taxpayer dollars through the bill. Democrats attempted to remove what they called the “No Charter Left Behind” provision which would give online charter schools $25 per pupil for brick and mortar facilities— something online schools lack.   

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