Columbus - 

State Representative Ron Young (R-Leroy Township) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has approved 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 adequate funding, the legislation provides support to areas most in need and keeps spending under the rate of inflation over the biennium.


Rep. Young championed the following measures, which have a specific impact on the 61st District:


$200,000 grant for the Lake County Educational Service Center, supporting the Lake and Geauga Counties Manufacturing K-12 Partnership.


“Our most valuable resource is our young people. This program will help them discover what their true aptitudes are and the career opportunities available in Lake County,” said Rep. Young.


$500,000 appropriation for the Lake County Regional Response Facility, which will house, protect, and deploy 20 specialized response units, including S.W.A.T., the Regional Urban Search and Rescue Team, the regional Medial Incident Response Team, regional Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit and the Nuclear Dive and Response Team. It will also house trailers, and emergency supplies to handle regional emergencies as part of the National Incident Management System.


“Giving our trained experts immediate access to their equipment, a centralized logistics and staging area, and making regional and federal resources deliverable by air may very well save a great deal of life and property in the case of an emergency,” said Rep. Young.


Volkswagen Clean Air Act Settlement which creates a fund into which the state will appropriate money from the Volkswagen Clean Air Act Settlement.


“According to the EPA, Lake County and the northeast region are required to endure the E-Check because it has the most toxic air quality in Ohio,” said Rep. Young. “Therefore, according the EPA, this area needs the most help in improving its environment and the additional toxins provided by the Volkswagen debacle made an already dangerous situation even more dangerous. I believe that we should be very careful to use this money very wisely. The creation of this fund will help make that possible.”


The bill also addresses the following issues, among others:


Combating the Drug Epidemic


Ohio is in the throes of the opioid drug epidemic. The number of deaths in Ohio have exceeded the national average with over 4000 in the last year. 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.


Prioritizing Schools


Enhancing opportunities for all Ohioans is a central component of the state operating budget, with an increase in K-12 education funding from the executive proposal ($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.


Strengthening Accountability within the Medicaid Program


House Bill 49 makes Ohio the first state to seek a federal waiver to freeze new enrollment to the Medicaid Group VIII expansion population with certain exemptions (the drug addicted and mentally ill). The Medicaid program in Ohio costs more than 50% of the state total budget and continues to grow much faster than all of programs. It is crowding out funding for education, safety forces, infrastructure improvements and all the other responsibilities of state government.


Modernizing the CAUV (Current Agricultural Use Value) Formula


Through various reforms to be phased in over a six-year period, the bill aims to offer property tax relief for farmers by reducing the taxable value of farmland.


Am. Sub. H.B. 49 will now head to the Governor for his consideration.

 
 
 
  
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COLUMBUS - 

State Representative Ron Young (R-Leroy Twp.) and Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) recently introduced House Bill 91, also known as the “Health Care Freedom Act,” which protects Ohio employers and residents from the penalty provisions included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).