An interesting state budget battle has already begun with
state political leaders engaging in lively banter regarding Gov. John Kasich
Kasich’s budget looks to implement a number of big policy
changes such as a Medicaid coverage expansion and changes to state income tax
and sales tax rates.
The budget has parts that Democrats and Republicans like,
although initially there doesn’t seem to be much mutual agreement.
Interestingly, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett
said the state GOP wouldn’t officially support or oppose the governor’s plan,
rather it would let the legislative process play out.
However, Bennett said the budget delivers on education
reform, tax cuts and accelerated job growth for the next two years.
Meanwhile, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern
made it known quite clearly the party adamantly opposes the governor’s budget,
although he agrees with Kasich’s proposal to accept federal funding to help the
state expand Medicaid health care coverage.
The Republican governor raised a few eyebrows when he
broke ranks from what some other GOP governors have done by wishing to expand
It may take a bit to persuade some Republicans to go along
with that idea, especially GOP state lawmakers who oppose the nation’s new
health care law, dubbed Obamacare.
Redfern said Democrats would look to separate a Medicaid
expansion from the budget and offer amendments for the issue to be considered
as stand-alone legislation.
Republicans have a clear majority in the Ohio General
Assembly, but I think Democrats could have some success separating Medicaid
expansion from the budget.
I’m probably in the minority there, but I think it could
provide a path for some Republicans to then support the governor’s budget and
provide them political cover from the more conservative members of the party.
The Ohio Republican Party also cited support of Kasich’s
signature program, JobsOhio, to attract new businesses. JobsOhio has received
little support from Democrats who say the program is unconstitutional. They
also have questioned its transparency.
Bennett also criticized Democrats who “have been hard at
work (last) week spreading outright lies about the new budget.”
In fact, Bennett unveiled Thursday a new website,
www.StopOhioJobKillers.com, that he said is “promising that the old lies and
new lies to come will now be available to the public.”
Redfern blasted Bennett saying “This soon-to-be outgoing
chairman has the audacity to suggest it’s the Democrats who want to kill jobs.
Quite the contrary.”
The Democratic Party chairman then said former Gov. Ted Strickland
offered seniors the largest property tax cut in state history by expanding the
Homestead Exemption. He then said Kasich’s plan to expand the base of the state
sales tax is one of the largest expansions of sales tax in state history.
Despite the fact the overall rate would be lowered,
Redfern said the proposal would disproportionately effect lower-income
residents and would now raise the cost of services such as haircuts, funerals
As a freshmen federal lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce
to reach across the political aisle in Congress to make friends and build
Joyce, R-Russell Township, plans to sit next to fellow
freshman lawmaker U.S. Rep. Cheri Busto
, D-Ill., during President Barack Obama
State of the Union address on Tuesday.
The two members of Congress, who first met during a
bipartisan Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, said their decision was based
in the spirit of bipartisanship and working together.
Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy
hosts his annual Mardi Gras Party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Holiday Inn
Express LaMalfa Centre in Mentor. See Kip Molenaar
Concord Township Trustees Paul Malchesky
re-election fundraiser is 5 to 7 p.m. March 4 at Harry
Buffalo in Painesville Township. See Malchesky, Galloway or Connie Luhta
Re-election kickoff party for
Mentor Municipal Court Judge John Trebets
, 5 to 8 p.m. March 7 at Holiday Inn Express
LaMalfa Centre in Mentor. See Ed
or Cindy Hughes
John Arthur Hutchison
Labels: Barack Obama, Bob Bennett, Chris Redfern, Dave Joyce, David P. Joyce, John Kasich, Ohio Democratic Party, Ohio Republican Party, state budget, Ted Strickland