Senate budget bill targets aid programs
Posted June 08, 2021 in Press Releases
New measures would make recovery harder for struggling Ohioans
Today the Ohio Senate Finance Committee unveiled its 2022-23 budget with amendments. Senators are expected to vote on the budget bill on Thursday, June 10. Policy Matters Ohio Senior Project Director Wendy Patton released the following statement:
“We look to government to provide us with a foundation of stability and help us out of a crisis like the pandemic and recession. Yet after presenting a budget bill with $1.3 billion in tax cuts that would primarily benefit the wealthiest and corporations, some senators have now slipped in measures to make it harder for people to get enough food to eat, health care and other basic necessities.
“Instead of making sure Ohio is prepared if the coronavirus surges again, some senators inserted provisions in the omnibus bill to make it harder for Ohio to get additional federal aid through Medicaid in 2022.
“Our senators should be putting forward policy solutions to help all Ohioans live happy, healthy lives. Instead, some provisions in the bill reflect racialized dog whistles about who ‘deserves’ assistance and who doesn’t. The bill includes an asset test that would punish families who need help paying for food -- preventing them from saving and building financial security. Should this be enacted, SNAP recipients would lose their food assistance unless they sell their assets like their car or home first, setting them back, and undercutting stability and security for Ohioans.
“The ill-considered nature of such proposals is evident in an amendment that would create a pilot program to have a credit reporting agency assist county job and family services departments with eligibility determinations for certain benefit programs. One problem: That would include unemployment compensation, a program county JFS departments don’t administer.
“The Senate already called for $1.3 billion in tax cuts that will further enrich the wealthiest Ohioans. It also proposed expanding the $9 billion they spend every year on tax breaks and eliminating the Tax Expenditure Review Committee. The new version of the budget doubles annual tax credits available to wealthy owners of capital gains and extends the $100 million tax credit program for the largest development projects.
“A budget bill exposes the priorities of elected leaders. We are not yet out of the pandemic and recession; a quarter of Ohioans have difficulty paying for basic household necessities. Legislators should pass a People’s Budget that ensures all our children have high-quality k-12 education, affordable child care for all families who need it, broadband access in every corner of the state, and dignity and security for children and families who most need support now.”