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Ohio Senate Passes Budget With Cuts To Medicaid, Government Funding

Ohio Senate Chamber
Ohio Senate Chamber

It’s now up to legislative leaders to come together and knock out a final budget agreement with just a little over a week before the fiscal year ends. The Senate debated its version for hours before passing it.

The $65 billion, two-year Senate budget cut $200 million from Medicaid and about 4 percent of government funding across the board. This was to finish filling a $1 billion budget gap due to a revenue shortfall.

Democrats have been pushing to get rid of a small business tax cut that they say would generate enough money to fill the gap and pay for other services.

But Republican Senator Matt Huffman of Lima says this money doesn’t belong to the state but to business owners.

“It’s either gonna be spent, it’s gonna be saved or it’s gonna be given away. Now when they spend it, that’s good for the economy all those other folks, their businesses are better," Huffman said. "And by the way there’s other taxes that are being collected: sales taxes, excise taxes, commercial activity tax."

One House provision that was rejected in the Senate bill: A proposal to deny injury benefits to workers living in the U.S. illegally. 

The Legislature now has until the end of the month to get a bill to Gov. John Kasich before the new fiscal year begins.