Ohio House Approves Balanced State Budget, Sends To Senate.
The Ohio House has passed a budget proposal that would cut funding to schools and local services but not as deeply as first-term Republican Gov. John Kasich has proposed. The Republican-controlled House approved the $55.6 billion, two-year spending blueprint on a 59-40 party line vote Thursday night. The plan mostly maintains Kasich's key cost-saving measures - including the sale of five state prisons and a Medicaid overhaul. The House put its mark on the budget by eliminating the state's estate tax beginning in 2013 and allowing the lease or sale of a sixth state prison. Legislators also dramatically expanded opportunities for charter and online education. The measure now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate. State lawmakers have to pass a spending plan by June 30.