State Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) and the General Assembly passed House Bill 110, 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.
“I worked to include some critical Portage County funding amendments within this comprehensive budget,” said Pavliga. “I passionately supported this budget that helps our businesses and economic investments, job creation initiatives, a new fair funding formula for our schools, and tax relief for all Ohioans.”
Specifically, some of the allocated funds for local Portage County projects that Pavliga fought for includes:
- NEOMED: $1 million for Fiscal Year 2023
- Bio-Med Science Academy: $320,000 per fiscal year for a pilot program
- Rape Crisis Center: $50,000 in each fiscal year for Portage County
- Kent State University: $100,000 in each fiscal year to support the Kent State University Rising Scholars Program
- Kent State University: $50,000 each fiscal year to Kent State University to support the Columbus program
- Kent State University: $50,000 each fiscal year to Kent State University to support the Washington Program
The school funding reform plan included in the bill 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 bill includes a three percent across the board personal income tax cut. The tax reform plan reduces the number of tax brackets from five to four, and eliminates the income tax for anyone making less than $25,000 per year. Overall, these and other tax changes in the budget reduce taxes $2 billion over the biennium.
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 veterans. Some of the initiatives include funding for training and equipment, support for veterans organizations, and funding for the Ohio Cyber Reserve.
The new budget entails House Bill 2, which creates the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program and the Ohio Broadband Expansion Program Authority. This initiative includes more than $250 million to support the grants.
Pavliga also notes that the budget includes substantial funding in support for soil and water districts related to Lake Erie and other funds to agencies to help protect the Great Lake – this included $170 million for the H2Ohio initiative.
The budget plan, under House Bill 110, now heads to the governor for further action.