State Rep. Randi Clites (D-Ravenna) and students at Kent State University today responded to a notification the university released Thursday informing students of a delay in issuing tuition bills due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the passage of the Ohio state budget.
“As legislators, it is our constitutional duty to pass a long-term budget by June 30. Interim budgets bring uncertainty and break the promise we made to taxpayers to do so. The delay in billing at Kent State shows the detrimental effects of missing the budget deadline has had on all Ohioans, including students who rely on financial aid and student loans,” said Rep. Clites. “In a state with one-party rule, we should not be putting Ohio students and families in such an uncertain position. I am committed to working together to get this done and I call on Statehouse Republicans to do the same.”
Kent State University recently notified students via email of a delay in student billing, originally due July 16, due to the delay in passage of the biennial state budget. The university cites uncertainty over tuition rates, Ohio financial aid grants and scholarships without prior authorization in the budget.
“As an individual who utilizes state financial aid to continue my studies, it is especially shameful to see Ohio Republicans fail to pass a budget. This negatively impacts working class families, and with control of the legislative and executive branches there is no excuse for any delay,” said Brandon Hawkins, a current student at Kent State University. “With how much time was wasted by Republicans on the restrictive six-week abortion ban, you would think they could’ve instead spent some time on constructive legislative action. That would include passing a budget that actually improves the lives of those living here.”
“College students already have so much to worry about on a day to day basis, especially with the rising costs of tuition and stress of navigating student loans,” said Tyler Gardner, a current student at Kent State University. “The last thing students want to top all this off is additional uncertainty over the ability to make college affordable, and when they have to pay. The Ohio legislature’s inability to reach a budget agreement directly adds to the struggles and worries that come with pursuing higher education.”
Ohio lawmakers now have until July 17 to pass House Bill (HB) 166, the state’s two-year budget. Without an agreement, lawmakers would be forced to pass another interim budget or face a state government shutdown.