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Senate Budget Abandons Drilling Tax Hike, Freezes State College Tuition

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Ken Teegardin
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Senate Republicans have unveiled their proposed two-year state budget that looks to eliminate all income taxes for a portion of small businesses' income, freeze tuition at state universities, and restore Medicaid health coverage for certain pregnant women and women with breast and cervical cancer.

Those and other Senate changes to Ohio's two-year, $71.5 billion operating budget were announced Monday.

The Senate spending blueprint reduces the income-tax rate by 6.3 percent, a cut worth $1.26 billion. It exempts the first $250,000 of small-business income from the tax.

Senators spend $1.1 billion less than Republican Gov. John Kasich's budget and $1.7 billion less than the House.

As expected, the Senate didn't restore a proposed tax increase on oil and gas extraction backed by Kasich.

Senate changes are scheduled to be debated starting Tuesday. The legislation faces a June 30 deadline.