Policy Matters Blog
Here’s why the state budget is a bad deal for most Ohioans
July 1st, 2015
The two-year budget that Gov. Kasich signed into law yesterday takes crucial state resources and transfers them to affluent Ohioans, instead of using them to invest in the state and our people.
Close to $2 billion in income-tax cuts will go primarily to the wealthy. At the same time, many schools are flat-funded; key work supports like childcare remain sorely underfunded; human services to protect children and the elderly are inadequate; critical health services like family planning (which helps reduce infant mortality) are reduced; and local governments see new cuts. At a time when resources are available for these and other priorities, this budget is a missed opportunity.
Gov. Kasich’s vetoes are a mixed bag. He got rid of some special-interest tax breaks but also made new cuts to schools, eliminated Health Hubs (which improve health in underserved communities through intensive care coordination), and removed legislative oversight when state facilities serving the developmentally disabled are closed.
The budget keeps Medicaid expansion, a clear positive for the half million low-income Ohioans who now have health care as a result. But the governor left in provisions that, if allowed by the federal government, would impose new costs on patients that can only hurt public health.
Ohio deserves a better budget.
Zach is research director, Wendy is senior project director of Policy Matters.