As Republican legislative leaders remain deadlocked on a long-term budget deal, House Democratic lawmakers today voted in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 171, which would extend funding for the next 17 days to avoid a government shutdown. They also voted to pass SB 172, a 30-day funding extension for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The Ohio Constitution requires both budgets to be passed by July 1.
“The majority party has been unwilling to work together, and now our only option to fulfill our constitutional duty and avoid a Republican shutdown is to pass this short-term budget,” said House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “Democrats are committed to fulfilling our promise to taxpayers and hope our majority-party colleagues can put the petty politics aside to do the same.”
Lawmakers now have 17 days to pass House Bill (HB) 166, the state’s two-year budget, and 30 days to pass HB 80, the workers’ compensation budget. Without an agreement, lawmakers would be forced to pass another interim budget or face a state government shutdown.
“We have an obligation—a promise—to taxpayers to pass a fiscally responsible budget. We shouldn’t have to operate with the uncertainty of an interim budget,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), who represents the House Democratic Caucus on the budget conference committee. “Democrats remain at the table ready to work together to restore tax fairness for working people and families, invest in our children’s education and maintain affordable healthcare for all Ohioans.”