It was fairly surprising to learn about some of the major
components of Gov. John Kasich
’s budget proposal that were taken out of the
proposal that was unveiled in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Dropping an expansion of Medicaid in Ohio wasn’t completely
unexpected, as many Republicans had previously cited concern about the federal
government keeping its pledge to fund an expansion at 100 percent for three
years before eventually dropping to 90 percent funding.
I hadn’t anticipated a complete scrap of changes to the
state sales tax rate that had included a lower overall rate, but expanding the
base of services that could be taxed.
That idea isn’t completely dead, as Republican state
lawmakers indicated it might be something to consider in the future.
Because Ohio law states the two-year budget must be put
into place by July 1, when the state fiscal year begins, GOP leaders decided
there wasn’t enough time to study whatever repercussions might stem from
changes to the sales tax.
Kasich really wanted a 20 percent reduction in the state’s
income tax rates, but instead a 7 percent cut is now on the table.
Also scrapped was an increase on the severance tax on oil
and gas drilling, which Kasich said would have helped pay for further income
The state expected more than 365,000 Ohio residents to be
eligible next year if an expansion of Medicaid was approved.
Despite the fact it was left out of the Ohio House state
budget bill, that battle doesn’t appear to be over.
The governor continues to keep the pressure on to expand
Medicaid in Ohio, and Kasich recently told reporters that he doesn’t take it
personally that House Republicans dropped it.
Instead, Kasich said that he profoundly disagrees and
couldn’t state his position any clearer.
Ohio House Democrats have introduced a bill that is very
similar to the governor’s initial proposal for a Medicaid expansion.
As I have written before, I thought an expansion of
Medicaid could be something that was pulled from the budget and could be voted
This might be legislation introduced by Democrats that
could have a chance to pass with some Republican support, but it remains to be
seen if that would be enough.
Republican Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder
wasn’t sure at this point how many in his caucus would vote for such a measure.
I also think there is a decent chance the Ohio Senate
could put a Medicaid expansion back into the budget bill after passed by the
Ohio House because the governor hasn't backed down.
Supporters of a Medicaid expansion also will have time to
galvanize their efforts to pressure lawmakers, and rallies in Columbus have
House GOP lawmakers added $100 million for mental health
and addiction services, but it doesn’t appear to satisfy the governor and
statewide advocacy groups such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio
and the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities.
People who recently have filed candidacy petitions in Lake
County are James
for Wickliffe Council Ward 1, William A. Brotzman
and Kenneth Gauntner
for Madison Township trustee.
Recently signing out candidacy petitions are Robert M.
for Mentor-on-the-Lake Council, John Popelka
Willoughby Council Ward 2, Lori DiNallo
for Painesville Council at large, Dan Donaldson
for Madison Village Council, Joe Zawatski
for Willoughby Hills Council and Dave Krych
for Wickliffe Council president.
n Dennis Morley
will host a kickoff
fundraiser for his Eastlake mayor campaign, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at
Trader Jack’s Riverside Grille in Eastlake. See Donna Vaughn
or Barb Morley
Lake County Commissioner Judy Moran
will host a fundraiser from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Dino’s Restaurant and
Banquet Center in Willoughby. See Kathy Russo
Lake County Treasurer-elect Lorraine M.
will host “Fende’s Victory” spaghetti dinner from 5:30 to 7:30
p.m. at Dino’s Restaurant and Banquet Center in Willoughby. See Nick Cindric
Willoughby Hills Councilman Kevin D. Malecek
Annual Cinco De Mayo Fundraiser, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 1 at Willoughby Hills
Community Center. See Malecek or Nora Colburn.
John Arthur Hutchison
Labels: John Kasich, Ohio budget, Ohio Democratic Party, Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio Republican Party, Ohio Senate