Tags: budget | ohio

Ohio Passes Budget Amid Pro-Union Referendum Drama

Wednesday, 02 Nov 2011 06:14 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The drama surrounding Ohio’s upcoming pro-union referendum vote has allowed the state’s $56 billion budget to pass without much controversy, Gov. John Kasich said, which could help the financially troubled state “rebuild.”
“One really good thing that I will tell you is that as a result of a lot of the hubbub around this issue, we were able to pass our budget with a minimal amount of problems, which is fantastic because it is that budget that has set the framework for the state of Ohio to rebuild,” Kasich said following a speech at a Zanesville restaurant.
Kasich’s was responding to a question about whether he believes many voters have already made up their minds about Issue 2, according to the Columbus Dispatch. If Ohioans vote next week in favor of Issue 2, limits on collective bargaining set up in Senate Bill 5 will be upheld.
The governor’s budget probably would have passed quickly anyway, as Republicans control both chambers of the state’s legislature.

However, the budget process was smoother because Democrats and special interests were tied up with Senate Bill 5.
The final budget removed $1.4 billion from schools and local governments, and another $340 million from nursing homes, to fill an $8 billion shortfall.
Kasich and Republicans also filled the budget with many more items, including: leasing state-controlled liquor profits to fund JobsOhio; reorganizing Medicaid; tax credits for small businesses; merit pay for teachers; expanding school choice programs; privatizing prisons and eliminating the state’s estate tax.

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