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Callender Announces School Funding, Tax Relief Among House Budget Proposals

April 13, 2021
Jamie Callender News

State Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord) announces a new school funding plan and tax relief are among the highlights of the state budget proposal unveiled today by the Ohio House GOP. Today, the House Finance Committee accepted a substitute bill containing the House GOP’s version of the new two-year state budget. Callender sits on the House Finance Committee.

“Today we are moving forward in providing real solutions for the people of Ohio as we invest in our children while simultaneously providing an income tax rate cut across the board for all Ohioans,” Callender 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. Callender also introduced the Fair School Funding Plan legislation for this General Assembly under House Bill 1.

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, and expands legislative oversight of state spending.

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 

The House plan also contains several provisions that are part of a broader effort to increase legislative oversight and government accountability. 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 proposal also provides funding to several local projects including:

  • $300,000 for the Lake County Emergency Management Agency to improve wireless and microwave communication for emergency operations.
  • $320,000 for the Educational Service Center of the Western Reserve to support the Alliance for Working Together’s STEM initiatives for middle school students.

Hearings on the measure will be held this week. Additional changes are expected before a final vote, which is expected next week.