COLUMBUS—State Representative Wes Goodman (R-Cardington) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has approved the conference committee report on Amended Substitute House Bill 49, the state operating budget. The $132.8 billion spending plan sets state spending levels for the next two fiscal years. Representative Goodman issued the following statement:

“I voted no on the House’s initial spending plan for two major reasons: it did not reduce spending levels by a great enough amount and did not make significant enough strides to stop Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in Ohio. I am pleased to report that the conference committee addressed these two concerns, earning my support of the bill today.

“State revenue has been coming in under projections for months now, which has required us to make difficult decisions in this budget. Ultimately over a billion dollars in spending was cut from the Governor’s proposal to the version of the budget passed, all without raising taxes. The bill now holds spending growth under the rate of inflation, an important accomplishment. In an age where government seems to be always growing and spending more, I am glad to say that Ohio’s budget bucks this trend by limiting growth and forcing the government to live within its means.

“The spending plan passed also freezes enrollment for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion beginning in 2018. This provision puts the brakes on the unsustainable Medicaid program, ensuring that the state’s limited resources are preserved for the truly vulnerable. It does this while also ensuring that those who are currently covered through the expansion can maintain their coverage until they are able to improve their situation and obtain a better form of insurance. Make no mistake, this vote is the single most impactful action taken by a state to roll back the Affordable Care Act and ensure better health care choices for Ohioans since the law passed in 2010.

“No budget is ever perfect, this one included. Ohio still has many issues confronting us. More must be done to rein in spending and limit the size and scope of government. Businesses and individuals would benefit greatly from fundamental pro-growth tax reform. To remain competitive in the modern economy our state must work to reform labor through right-to-work and get rid of occupational licensing barriers that keep individuals from working. We must ensure that above all, all citizens receive the full protection that the constitutions of the United States and Ohio afford for their liberties.”

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

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