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Leader Russo Vote "No" on State Spending Bill, Believes it Doesn't Meet the Standards Ohioans Deserve

June 30, 2023
C. Allison Russo News

COLUMBUS – House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today released the following statement after voting against the Ohio state operating budget (HB 33):

“There’s a lot of good in this state budget that started in the House, but, unfortunately for the majority of Ohioans, the bad provisions added by the Senate tremendously outweigh the good. That’s why I voted against supporting this budget which lacks vision, transparency, and accountability,” said Leader Russo. “This Senate budget prioritizes extremists and special interest groups over the priorities of everyday people. Instead of making public education the crown jewel of our state’s education system, this budget props up universal vouchers, empowers charter and nonpublic schools, and weakens our public education system’s independence and its finances. Instead of fully funding programs that feed hungry children, providing fairer childcare opportunities to working families, and offering much needed healthcare to lower-income families, the budget will cut the taxes of the wealthy and well connected, taking billions of dollars from countless essential programs. Ohioans deserve a budget that puts the priorities of the people over personal self-interest. This spending bill failed them and I refused to support it.” 

Ohio House Democrats will continue to prioritize legislation that always puts people first and upholds the freedom to be who we are, the dignity of representation, and the opportunity to thrive.

Problematic provisions in HB 33 included:


Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

  • Flattens Ohio's income tax system, disproportionally favoring the very wealthy instead of Ohio’s working and middle class families.
  • Flattening Ohio’s tax brackets will cost the state about $1 billion a year, restricting the state’s ability to support working class Ohioans.


Expands School Vouchers

  • Makes school vouchers universal, costing taxpayers over $1 billion per year.
  • Allows parents/guardians to provide a signed affidavit only once during a student school career for proof of income for EdChoice expansion instead of submitting official income verification annually despite possible increases in future earnings. 

SB 1/HB 12- Transfer of State K-12 Education Governance

  • Renames Department of Education to Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) and creates cabinet level Director and Deputy Director positions.
  • Transfers the majority of powers and responsibility from State Board of Education to Directors of DEW.


Medicaid Funding

  • Medicaid Services line item by almost $1.35 billion over the biennium, which provides a variety of services to our vulnerable populations.

Cuts to Health

  • Significant funding cuts for important health services, such as emergency preparedness, lead abatement, and fighting addiction.


  • Significantly decreases the proposed initial eligibility for publicly funded child care from 160% FPL in the as-introduced budget to 145% FPL in the final version.
  • Failed to include an as-introduced investment of $150 million into child care from  the final version of the budget.

Infant and Maternal Health Funding

  • Failed to include an as-introduced proposal to expand Medicaid coverage for kids/pregnant women under 300% of the federal poverty level and for children adopted through private agencies.
  • Smaller investments than initially proposed to the Healthy Beginnings at Home program which supports safe housing for pregnant women, Infant Vitality grants, Early Childhood Mental Health and more.

Step Up To Quality 

  • Prohibits Step Up To Quality ratings from considering whether employees or administrators have college degrees. 

Public Assistance, Unemployment

  • Removes any holiday pay or bonus pay earned from unemployment benefits.
  • Requires the Ohio Department of Medicaid to apply for a waiver from the federal government to implement work requirements.



  • Fails to make additional critical investments in H2Ohio, the state’s leading program in improving water quality.