Rep. Young Applauds Bipartisan Passage Of Biennial Budget
Am. Sub. H.B. 64 cuts taxes, helps small businesses and provides a balanced approach to funding Ohio's schools
April 23, 2015
[ Ron Young Home | Ron Young Press ]

Representative Ron Young (R-Leroy) applauded the House passage of Amended Substitute House Bill 64, the biennial state budget bill that allocates funding to schools, community projects and government initiatives, as well as providing significant tax relief to all Ohioans and small businesses in the state.

As part of Am. Sub. House Bill 64, Ohioans will see a sizable tax cut totaling $1.2 billion over the biennium with a 6.3 percent across-the-board income tax reduction beginning this year, lowering the top rate to just under 5 percent. The bill prioritizes small businesses by permanently instituting a 75-percent tax deduction for the first $250,000 in income, ensuring that businesses can grow and create jobs. A commission has also been created in the legislation to discuss further tax reform for the benefit of Ohioans and Ohio businesses.

The House’s budget plan has received support from various business groups and interested parties for its business-friendly tax initiatives. Some of these groups include the Buckeye Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the Council of Smaller Enterprises, the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Society of CPAs, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the National Federation of Independent Business/Ohio (NFIB), the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants.

On the issue of school funding, Am. Sub. House Bill 64 appropriates $950 million in state-aid—increasing the executive proposal by $270 million. The school funding component of the bill ensures that no school will see a decrease in state funding over the next two years.  Additionally, the passed legislation allocates funding to make up for dollars lost because of the TPP and KWH reimbursement phase-out.

“While the budget is not perfect, it does represent significant progress for Lake County and Ohio,” Rep. Young said. “There are very strong economic growth initiatives coupled with attractive cost saving reforms to the Medicaid program that increase efficiency, encourage individual responsibility and the importance of work. Also the significant labor reforms in the bill will promote equity and competition in public bidding, and lead to more government efficiency. Also, the House’s support for local Lake County needs is to be commended.”

Pertaining to higher education, the budget bill prohibits colleges and universities from charging an overload fee to students for taking more than a certain number of credit hours. Provisions in the bill also require colleges participating in the College Credit Plus Program to offer an associate degree pathway and fund the Workforce Grant Program.

With a focused approach on guaranteeing that Ohioans are able to get the health care they need, the budget proposal develops a plan to assist individuals who need help getting off government aid by implementing cost transparency measures, requiring the Department of Medicaid to seek waivers to allow for savings accounts and work requirements, and requiring a report of clinical care and outcomes of the Medicaid expansion population to be examined by the General Assembly.

In the bill are a number of initiatives that Rep. Young proposed:

  • A limit on Controlling Board actions that prohibits the Board from authorizing expenditures substantially greater than the amount authorized by the General Assembly. Ohio’s Controlling Board is a group of 6 legislators headed by a Governor appointee. Many feel that in some cases it exercises power that exceeds that of the General Assembly as a whole. This legislation corrects that problem.

  • Ensuring that our schools will not lose revenue as a result of the Tangible Personal Property tax reimbursement reductions

  • Holding all township taxing authorities with a nuclear power plant in their jurisdictions harmless as result of the Tangible Personal Property tax reimbursement reductions

  • Allowing tow companies to display their registration number on the side of their vehicle, rather than on the door, and putting a one year look back period on towing violations

  • Reforms to the public bidding process for construction projects that will expand the number of bidders and reduce costs.

  • A report evaluating the effects and efficiencies of the Medicaid program on clinical care and health outcomes for people in the Medicaid expansion group. Ohio will spend over $35 billion on Medicaid in this biennium. It is time we learned the return on that investment.

  • $350,000 for the Mentor Storm Water Management project

  • $200,000 for the Middle School Robotics STEM initiative in Lake and Geauga Counties

  • Prohibiting funds from being used to fund the PARCC assessments (major testing components of the common core program) and extending safe harbor language to students into the ‘16 and ‘17 school years so that they are not negatively impacted by PARCC testing results in any way

Am. Sub. House Bill 64 will now head to the Senate for further consideration.

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