House Finance Chairman Ryan Smith Applauds Gov. Kasich For Signing State Budget Bill
Am. Sub. H.B. 64 helps families and communities of southeast Ohio
July 07, 2015
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State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) applauded Governor John Kasich’s signing of Amended Sub. House Bill 64, the state operating budget, which contains several items beneficial to the people and communities of southeast Ohio.

Smith, who chaired the Ohio House Finance Committee, was active in securing a number of projects important to the region, including:

  • Prohibiting      the multi-state consortium testing from being administered next year

  • Allocating      funds to the Healthy Food Financing Initiative to combat food deserts

  • Expanding      drug courts to area counties to combat the drug epidemic

  • Increasing      funding to Appalachian Local Development Districts used to spur economic      development

  • Directing      $75,000 per year to the Ohio University Leadership Project

  • Increasing      funding for the Appalachian New Economy Partnership to $1.5 million

  • Directing      key resources to improve maternal and child health outcomes in southern      Ohio

“This budget prioritizes job creation through a nearly $1.9 billion tax cut, while also adding essential resources to southeastern Ohio,” said Smith. “Area counties will have more tools to fight the drug scourge with expanded drug courts and increased addiction treatment services. Am. Sub. HB 64 moves Ohio forward with smart investments that will build a stronger Ohio.”

The budget bill also contains an across-the-board 6.3-percent income tax cut totaling nearly $1.9 billion over the next two years. The proposal lowers the top rate to below 5 percent—the lowest it’s been since 1982. Furthering that trend, and prioritizing small businesses, the bill institutes a 75-percent income tax deduction on the first $250,000 of income in FY’ 2016 and a 100-percent deduction in FY’ 2017, and levies a flat 3 percent rate above that.

Am. Sub. H.B. 64 works to help individuals move up and off government assistance in order to have a better quality of life by implementing cost transparency measures in Medicaid and requiring the Department of Medicaid to seek waivers to allow for health savings accounts. With a focus on curtailing the drug epidemic, the bill also earmarks $500,000 to improve access for county health departments and first responders to naloxone, an anti-opiate drug that reverses the effects of an overdose.

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