COLUMBUS—State Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) announced that the Ohio House has taken the last step to finalize Ohio’s state operating budget, including an override of 11 of Governor Kasich’s 47 vetoes.

The bill addresses the following issues, among others:

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. Investments focused on the areas of prevention, treatment, mental health care and workforce programs ensure that communities across Ohio, both rural and urban, receive the support they need to educate young people, help those who are addicted and prevent overdose deaths, which is a statistic that continues to rise.

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

The bill promotes tuition guarantee programs to provide more cost consistency to students while also requiring colleges to study textbook expenses in order to ultimately reduce the cost of obtaining a college degree.

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.

The House also voted to override the Governor’s vetoes of the following provisions, which will therefore remain part of the bill:

• Ensuring Controlling Board authority to adjust appropriations and create new funds
• Limiting ability for optional groups to be covered under Medicaid
• Increasing legislative oversight for rules pertaining to Medicaid rates
• Preserving Medicaid payment rates for nursing facility services, neonatal and newborn services, and long-term managed care
• Delaying addition of behavioral health services to Medicaid managed care until July 2018
• Requiring the Department of Medicaid to request federal permission to increase the health insuring corporation (HIC) franchise fee
• Requiring Controlling Board authorization for certain Medicaid expenditures
• Directing the Department of Medicaid to request a federal waiver to implement the Healthy Ohio Program
• Transferring the appointment authority of the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission to the General Assembly

This is the first time that the Ohio House has opted to override a veto during Kasich’s six-year tenure. The 11 provisions receiving a favorable override vote will now go to the Ohio Senate for further debate.

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