COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Monday evening, Ohio lawmakers passed House Bill 110, the two-year state operating budget for the 2022 and 2023 Fiscal Years, which includes a new school funding reform plan, tax cuts, jobs and economic support, among other initiatives.
Education and childcare
House Bill 110 has several educational and child care factors included in the legislation.
The school funding reform plan included in the bill has been in the works for more than three years and would enact the Fair School Funding Plan, which intends to more accurately measure school district's funding using both property and income wealth to determine the local share.
Additionally under the bill, school districts would be phased out of the control of academic distress commissions.
When it comes to child care, the legislation increases publicly funded child care at initial eligibility of 142% of the Federal Poverty Level for all families and 150% for families with children with disabilities.
Ohio's Help Me Grow parent support program is also expanded to children up to five years old under the bill.
The state budget includes several medical impacts within the legislation.
Under HB 110, Medicaid coverage of women postpartum would be extended for a year. Currently, the coverage is 60 days.
The bill would also designate the month of May as Maternal Mortality Awareness Month.
One of the items in the bill that has received backlash from some of Ohio's lawmakers is language that would allow doctors to refuse treatment to LGBTQ+ patients if doing so violates that doctor's religious beliefs.
Jobs and economic support
HB 110 includes targeted investments into Ohio jobs, business and the state's economy, including the expansion of procurement law that would give preference to American and Ohio products. It also focuses on workforce development across the state.
Changes were made to the bill that removed the Senate's controversial proposal of asset test requirements for food snap recipients.
Additionally, the Senate provisions that required the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to terminate federal pandemic unemployment assistance programs by Sept. 4 and the prohibition that ODJFS enter into new agreements with the labor department for future assistance programs were removed from the legislation.
Infrastructure and internet
As part of HB 110, $350 million would be provided to a newly developed Brownfield Remediation Fund and $150 million would be provided to the Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Fund.
HB 110 also appropriates $230 million in 2022 and $20 million in 2023 for broadband funding while removing restrictions on local governmental entities as a broadband provider.
The bill includes several provisions that would benefit law enforcement, firefighters, and public safety officers.
Initiatives in HB 110 include security grants, school safety grants, body cameras, law enforcement training investment, firefighter grants, and funding for the Ohio Cyber Reserve.
A tax reform included in HB 110 includes a 3% across the board personal income tax and reduced the number of tax brackets from five to four. It also eliminates the income tax for anyone making less than $25,000 a year.
However, some Democrat lawmakers said the bill "includes a regressive tax cut and allows Republican legislative leaders to use taxpayer dollars in redistricting lawsuits."
HB 110 also added Juneteenth as a paid state holiday. President Joe Biden recently declared the day a federal holiday.
“Commemorating Juneteenth as a paid state holiday will help us honor the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. It will acknowledge the sacrifices and struggles and celebrate the tenacity and triumphs of Black Americans,” said state Senator Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus). “As we celebrate this historic occasion in the years to come, I urge all Ohioans to be mindful of the systemic racism that still impacts our society and continue to stand up and speak out against injustice. While we have come a long way since 1865, we still have a long way to go toward achieving equality for all.”
House Bill 110 now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine's desk for his signature.
To read the full bill, click here.
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