COLUMBUS– State Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) today released the following statement after voting against the Ohio state operating budget (HB 33):
“Due to the enormous investment sent to Ohio and our citizens from the Biden Administration and Congress, Ohio’s budget this General Assembly was one of the biggest opportunities to put people first and invest in our children, working families, elderly and public institutions. Instead, we gave away billions of dollars to big business and the wealthiest of Ohioans for years to come. We can do better,” said Rep. Miller.
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 include:
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.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
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.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
- 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.
AGRICULTURE, DEVELOPMENT, AND NATURAL RESOURCES
- Fails to make additional critical investments in H2Ohio, the state’s leading program in improving water quality.