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Rep. Isaacsohn Votes "No" on State Budget, Believes it Doesn't Meet the Standards Ohioans Deserve

July 13, 2023
Dani Isaacsohn News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Dani Isaacsohn (D- Cincinnati) today released the following statement after voting against the Ohio state operating budget (HB 33):

“This budget represents a missed opportunity to set Ohio on a better path. Instead of investing our surplus in strengthening the next generation, the budget spends billions on tax cuts and private school vouchers for the wealthy.” said Rep. Isaacsohn.

“Voting ‘no’ doesn’t mean that the budget is all wrong. I am proud that we were able to make all reduced priced meals free in schools. I am proud that public schools are seeing an 11.7% increase in funding and that we are increasing teacher salaries. However, the compromises we had to make to get there were far too harmful for me to be able to support the budget as a whole. This budget will drive us further apart at a time when we need to come together.” Isaacsohn concluded.

Representative Isaacsohn and Ohio House Democrats will continue to prioritize legislation that always puts people first, reduces inequality, and focuses on the families and communities most in need.

Representative Isaacsohn fought hard to include many of the provisions that made it into the final budget, including:

  • Increase in funding for Cincinnati Public Schools
  • Historic commitment to the Fair School Funding Formula
  • Boosting Medicaid Reimbursement for Direct Service Providers by almost 40%
  • Funding for Lighthouse Youth Services, Bethany House, and the Holocaust and Humanity Center
  • $3 million to fund construction of the Hamilton County Regional Safety Complex

Problematic provisions in Operating Budget included:


Expands School Vouchers

  • Makes school vouchers universal, costing taxpayers over $1 billion per year while robbing funding from public schools.
  • 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 majority of powers and responsibility from State Board of Education to Directors of DEW.


Medicaid Funding

  • Cuts the 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.


Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

  • Flattens Ohio's income tax system, disproportionally favoring special interest while doing very little to help 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.



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

HB 33 has been signed by Governor DeWine who vetoed 44 line items in the budget over the July 4th holiday weekend.