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Robinson: Dem priorities shape state budget

Bill includes tax cut for working people and families
May 10, 2019
Phillip M. Robinson, Jr. News

State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) Thursday voted in favor of the state budget, House Bill 166, which includes a number of key Democratic priorities, including a significant tax cut for working people and families.

“This budget doesn’t restore the Ohio Promise and there are some provisions I’m disappointed in, but it is moving us in the right direction,” said Rep. Robinson. “Thanks to continued bipartisan dialogue and the Democratic caucus’ focus on everyday Ohioans, this budget cuts taxes for working people and puts money back in their pockets, invests in K-12 education, makes college more affordable, and increases support in children’s services. All good starting points to restoring Ohio’s promise as a place where people want to move to find a good job, a good education, and raise a family.”

The budget includes historic tax cuts for working people and families, reducing the middle two income tax brackets and eliminating the bottom two altogether. In addition, lawmakers included a provision to level the playing field for Ohio small businesses by administering online-sales tax collection for large corporations.

K-12 education was improved with provisions including $675 million in school wrap-around services for student wellness and success funding and $20 million for school buses and transportation.

The bill also includes provisions outlined in recently-passed HB 154, which would end controversial state takeovers and restore control to local school districts.

Democrats fought to remove a controversial, Republican-backed provision to limit healthcare access for low-income Ohioans that would have charged monthly premiums for Medicaid coverage, a practice that would have jeopardized care for thousands of Ohioans.

Additional key Democratic amendments added to the budget include making college more affordable for low-income students by increasing funding for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant.

A $32 million increase in home visitation funding to combat infant mortality and a minimum wage increase for direct service employees were also included.

The bipartisan bill passed the House and now heads to the state Senate for further consideration.