State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) 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.
“This budget addresses many issues along with being quite comprehensive and structurally balanced,” said Patton. “Its focus is on our schools and students, businesses and workforce, supporting our public safety, and many other areas that puts Ohioans first.”
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 also 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.
Patton also proposed an amendment added to the bill regarding a traffic safety study for the local area that:
- Requires the Director of Transportation to conduct a traffic safety study for roads and highways in Strongsville, North Royalton, and Brunswick, in conjunction with their chief executive officers and legislative authorities.
- Requires the Director to submit a report of the study's findings (and potentially solutions to the safety concerns) to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, the chairpersons of the transportation committees in the House and Senate, and the chief executive officer and the legislative authority of Strongsville, North Royalton, and Brunswick respectively.
- Requires the Director of Transportation to use up to $100,000 in fiscal year 2022 from the Highway Operating Fund through funding available under the federal flexible spending program, to pay for the costs of the study.
The budget plan, under House Bill 110, now heads to the governor for further action.