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Ohio Senate Committee To Start Its Review Of State Budget

The Ohio Statehouse
Creative Commons
Senate panel is reviewing the state's two-year spending plan.

The House is set to vote on its version of the state budget tomorrow. But budget hearings in the Senate have already started - kicking off with the state budget director.

Tim Keen defended Gov. John Kasich’s original budget proposal, which included a package of tax increases, with the revenue going to income tax cuts. Some Democratic lawmakers have called on Kasich to use some of that money to restore more than a billion dollars cut to local governments and schools in his first budget. But Keen said communities need to stop blaming the state for those cuts and deal with them.

“This is a get out of jail free card for local government and school people,” said Keen. “They’ve been using it for six years. Anytime there’s a tough decision to be made, it’s the fault of local government fund reductions.”

The school funding formula in Kasich’s budget would have cut funds to half of the state’s public school districts. But the House put more money into K-12 education so no district will lose funding under its plan.