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Ohio's Next Budget Nears Final Approval

The Ohio Statehouse
Creative Commons

With just two days to go before the budget is required to be signed by the governor, state lawmakers are expected to cast a final vote on it Wednesday. And there's a controversial provision that stayed in after Tuesday's all-day negotiations including House and Senate members.

The budget passed on a party line vote after the conference committee negotiations on Tuesday.

The budget includes a freeze on enrollments in Medicaid expansion next year. Gov. John Kasich’s Office of Health Transformation says up to half a million people could lose coverage.

Kasich has touted Medicaid expansion as a tool to fight the opioid crisis, and though there’s an exemption for the mentally ill and drug addicted, that provision is considered a likely veto target.

The budget had to be trimmed because of a projected $1 billion dollar shortfall.

It also includes new options for graduation for the class of 2018, and a sales tax holiday in August.