State Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) and the Ohio House approved House Bill 110, otherwise known as the two-year state operating budget for Fiscal Years 2022-2023. The legislation highlights include a new school funding reform plan, tax relief, jobs and economic support, and several other initiatives.
“We have such a large and diverse district that I am certain we will see so many of our people benefit from this extensive budget that focuses on providing Ohioans with tax relief, fair school funding, and job creation for years to come,” Stein said.
The school funding reform plan is the result of more than three years of work by educators and policymakers. The Fair School Funding Plan is predictable, sustainable and transparent. The plan will be phased in over the next six years, beginning with the 2021-22 school year, and is designed to ensure no district loses funding during the transition to a new formula.
The legislation also includes a two percent personal income tax rate cut, which will reduce taxes approximately $380 million over the biennium. Coupled with recently passed legislation (Senate Bill 18) conforming Ohio’s tax code with federal law, the House is providing a nearly $500 million in personal income tax relief this biennium.
In addition to school funding reform and tax relief, the plan provides COVID-19 relief aid to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. The House budget proposal appropriates $155 million in COVID-19 relief aid to help businesses impacted by the pandemic. Grants from this funding will be available in the fiscal year beginning July 1. The package includes:
• $100 million for restaurants and bars
• $25 million for the lodging industry
• $20 million for indoor and outdoor entertainment venues
• $10 million in relief for new businesses
Additionally, the budget bill includes targeted investments to support Ohio jobs, businesses and the economy. This portion of the bill focuses on expanding procurement law to give preference to American and Ohio products. The legislation also focuses on workforce development through a committee to study workforce training and several programs to support employment opportunities.
House Bill 110 also includes a series of provisions in support of law enforcement, firefighters and public safety. Some of the initiatives include security grants, school safety grants, body cameras, law enforcement training investment, firefighter grants, and funding for the Ohio Cyber Reserve.
The House plan also contains several provisions that are part of a broader effort to increase legislative oversight and government accountability on state spending. These include:
• Joint Legislative Oversight and Review Committee of Federal COVID Relief Aid – This panel will provide more oversight of federal COVID relief aid spent by the state.
• State Controlling Board – The budget calls for more agency spending initiatives to come before the board for review and approval. The seven-person board is comprised of three House members, three Senate members and a designee of the governor’s budget director.
The budget plan, under House Bill 110, now heads to the Senate for further action.