State Rep. Ginter Applauds Passage Of Conference Report On State Operating Budget
Am. Sub. H.B. 64 provides tax relief, ensures funding for local schools
 
 
COLUMBUS - 

State Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) today voted in support of Amended Substitute House Bill 64, the state operating budget. The legislation lowers the income tax, ensures funding for Ohio schools, freezes tuition costs on colleges and helps small businesses.


In an effort to drive business to Ohio and continue the significant economical success the state has experienced over the last few years, the final budget proposal cuts taxes by a total of more than $1.8 billion over the next two years and includes an across-the-board 6.3 percent income tax decrease beginning in TY’ 15. The proposal also 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.


Through the passage of this legislation, no Ohio school will receive a reduction in state funding from 2015 for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The budget appropriates an additional $900 million in state aid to Ohio’s schools. Additionally, the bill allocates funding to make up for dollars lost because of the TPP and KWH reimbursement phase-outs.


“While no budget is perfect, I am proud of the work done by my colleagues in the General Assembly,” said Ginter. “After speaking with constituents and officials in Columbiana County, it was apparent that school funding and local government funding were among the most important issues in this budget. Therefore, I am especially proud of the school funding formula, which ensures that no school district in the state receives a funding cut in this biennium. The Local Government Safety Services Grant will also be a step towards helping our local governments, who have been affected by deductions in previous years. Through the hard work of the General Assembly over the past six months, all of this was able to be done while cutting taxes by $1.8 billion over the next two years, including an across-the-board income tax cut of 6.3 percent. This was no easy task, but I am confident that this budget puts Ohio on the right path moving forward.”


In addition to addressing taxes and primary/secondary education, Am. Sub. House Bill 64 makes higher education more affordable for students by freezing tuition rates for public colleges and universities over the next two years. It also prohibits state institutions of higher education from charging an overload fee for taking more than a certain number of credit hours.


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.


The legislation creates the Ohio Military Facilities Commission, which would be tasked with providing state funding to military installations in Ohio, for $5 million over the biennium, to ensure that they are prepared for the upcoming BRAC. Additionally, the bill requires DAS and ODOT to establish a veteran-friendly business procurement program.


In order to ensure that Ohio’s local governments have the resources they need for the communities they serve, this budget makes various allocations for this purpose. For example, the bill establishes the Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program with a $20 million allocation over the next two years. The bill also increases the percent of GRF tax revenues transferred to the Public Library Fund for local libraries.


Additional provisions in the budget include:



  • Extending      “safe harbor” provisions to teachers and students through FY’17

  • Appropriating      funds for the Healthier Buckeye Grant Pilot Program

  • Placing       a tax on cigarettes at 35 cents a pack—ensuring that Ohio’s  tobacco      tax amount is on par with neighboring states

  • Providing      $11 million over the biennium to expand the creation of Medication      Assisted Treatment (MAT) drug court program

  • Earmarking      $13.4 million per year for a Medicaid managed care organization to cover      community health worker services for enrollees who are pregnant, or      capable of becoming pregnant, who live in a community identified by the      Ohio Department of Health as having a high rate of infant mortality


Am. Sub. H.B. 64 will now head to the Governor for his signature. 

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Representative Ginter Sworn In As State Representative Of The 5th House District

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) was sworn in yesterday as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 132nd General Assembly. He represents the 5th Ohio House District, which comprises all of Columbiana County, for a second term.



 
 

Ohio House Community And Family Advancement Committee Holds Summer Hearing In East Liverpool

 
COLUMBUS - 

The Ohio House Community and Family Advancement Committee held a hearing on the Kent State University East Liverpool campus yesterday, listening to testimony on how to help lift Ohioans up and out of poverty.