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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A bit of work remains with Ohio budget

The ever-changing proposed state budget took several twists this past week, and what the Ohio Senate unveiled is quite different from the measure passed earlier by the Ohio House of Representatives.

Among the differences is the Ohio Senate wants to scrap a 7 percent permanent income tax cut for individuals. Instead, Ohio Senate leaders in their initial budget bill included a $1.4 billion tax cut to small businesses by cutting in half taxes on the first $750,000 of net income.

The statewide tax cut for individuals was estimated to be worth $1.5 billion, but Ohio Senate leadership said the target tax relief for small businesses would have the most direct impact to encourage job growth.

They hope the small business tax cuts would provide incentives for owners to invest more money into equipment needs, expansion plans, and employee payroll.

Gov. John Kasich had proposed a 20 percent income tax rate reduction for individuals, but it now seems as if there will be little or no reduction in this area.

Ohio Senate officials also announced they do plan to continue work on tax reform with the Ohio House of Representatives in Conference Committee.

What appears to be off the table for now was the governor’s plan to expand the base of the state sales tax and also reduce the overall sales tax rate.

Also missing in either state budget proposal so far is a plan to expand Medicaid coverage to more Ohioans.

But it doesn’t seem the door is closed on this issue, as Ohio Senate leaders said they continue to work on a Medicaid reform plan outside of the budget process.

When it comes to education spending, the Senate version of the budget bill would raise spending on K-12 education by more than $717 million when compared to the last two-year budget, The Associated Press reported.

Schools, according to the GOP-controlled Senate plan, would see an additional $141.6 million in direct state aid when compared to the funding formula the Ohio House passed in its version of the budget bill.

A full Ohio Senate vote is planned for Thursday, and if the measure is approved, the bill heads to a conference committee to hammer out the differences with what was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives.

At this point, there appears to be a lot of discrepancy, so there will be much work to do to pass a final version that needs to be signed by the governor before July 1.

Budish announces

State Rep. Armond Budish, D-Beachwood, announced that he will run for Cuyahoga County executive. He aims to replace Ed FitzGerald, who is running for governor. Media reports showed FitzGerald was present at the announcement and endorsed Budish’s campaign.

Governor appointment

Patrick W. Bevack of Concord Township recently was appointed by Kasich to serve on the Savings and Loan Associations and Savings Bank Board.

Lake-Geauga YRs

The Lake-Geauga Young Republicans are the host club for the 2013 Ohio Young Republican State Convention on June 7-8 at LaMalfa Centre in Mentor.

Local speakers during the convention include state Rep. Matt Lynch and 11th District Court of Appeals Judge Colleen M. O’Toole. Keynote speaker for the dinner program will be U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta. U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce will be inducted into the local club’s hall of fame.

Contact Matt Jaworski or Brian Wollet for more details.

Filed petitions

Recently filing candidacy petitions in Lake County were Maureen Callahan for North Perry Council; Ed Levon for Wickliffe Council Ward 4; and Kenneth J. Blakeley for Leroy Township trustee.


n Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap’s Golf and Steak Fry, 10:30 a.m. shotgun start June 7 at Painesville Country Club. See Lu Dunlap or Frank Leonbruno.

n Willoughby Hills Councilwoman Nancy Fellows hosts Flag Day Family Picnic from 6 to 8 p.m. June 14 at Campbell Park in Willoughby Hills. See Nancy or Dale Fellows.

n John Plecnik, candidate for Willoughby Hills Council, Slovenian Style Dinner from 5:30 to 8 p.m. June 12 at Willoughby Hills Community Center. See Plecnik or Tony Manfredi.

John Arthur Hutchison

Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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