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Democratic Priorities Shape Budget as Bill Clears Ohio House

Bill Includes Tax Cut for Working People and Families

House Democratic lawmakers last week voted in favor of the state budget, House Bill 166, which includes a number of key Democratic priorities, including a significant tax cut for working people and families.

"I am proud of our Democratic members and their work to make this budget a more realistic blueprint for our state's future by including a number of our key priorities," said Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). "Democrats were able to deliver real results for taxpayers by closing some costly tax loopholes and passing a working families tax cut, which will put money back in the pockets of everyday Ohioans. We kept our promise to the taxpayers of Ohio-we work for you."

The budget includes historic tax cuts for working people and families, reducing the middle two income tax brackets and eliminating the bottom two altogether.

"We have an obligation to taxpayers to pass a fiscally responsible budget, and Democratic changes made this a balanced plan that invests in our future," said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the lead Democrat on the House budget panel. "Democrats were able to move this budget in the right direction to benefit small businesses, working people and families."

Long-held Democratic priorities of closing tax loopholes, like lowering the LLC loophole threshold from $250,000 to $100,000 and eliminating the corporate jet timeshare exemption, also made it into the budget. In addition, lawmakers included a provision to level the playing field for Ohio small businesses by administering online-sales tax collection for large corporations.

Democrats fought to remove a controversial, GOP-backed provision to limit healthcare access for low-income Ohioans that would have charged monthly premiums for Medicaid coverage, a practice that would have jeopardized care for thousands of Ohioans.

"The budget is a promise for a better, more secure future, and the work we were able to do to invest in working people and communities is a step in the right direction," said Assistant Minority Whip Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo). "Good government comes through compromise, and the only way we can keep our promise to taxpayers and restore the promise of better lives and brighter futures is by working together."

Additional key Democratic amendments added to the budget include making college more affordable for low-income students by increasing funding for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant.

The bill also includes provisions outlined in recently-passed HB 154, which would end controversial state takeovers and restore control to local school districts.

A $32 million increase in home visitation funding to combat infant mortality and a minimum wage increase for direct service employees were also included.

"Improving access to healthcare and investing in children's services, education and workers begins to restore Ohio's promise as a place where people want to move again to find a good job, go to school and raise a family," said Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington). "This budget shows that Democrats are here, working together to deliver real results for Ohio taxpayers."

The bipartisan bill passed the House and now heads to the state Senate for further consideration.




Copyright 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05/16/19 00:07:37 -0400.

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