Policy Matters Ohio responds to Gov. DeWine's budget proposal
Posted January 31, 2023 in Press Releases
Today Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled his state budget plan for fiscal years 2024-25. Policy Matters Ohio Executive Director Hannah Halbert releases the following statement based on his State of the State comments:
Ohio has enough resources to make us the best state in the nation to put down roots and live good lives, for people of every race, gender, age and ability. Too often, our leaders choose instead to use those resources to make Ohio more enticing to wealthy corporations that take more out of Ohio than they put in. With the last state budget, policymakers handed out more public dollars to the richest Ohioans and wealthy corporations via tax breaks and tax cuts, draining resources from our communities. Now is the time for the state to reverse course and build up families and communities instead of private special interests.
Gov. DeWine called for some much-needed, overdue spending — extending the Fair School Funding Plan, finally strengthening Ohio’s need-based aid grant (the Ohio College Opportunity Grant), and increasing support for mental and behavioral health. Gov. DeWine’s proposal would also expand access to child care and extend early childhood education to an additional 11,525 children in households with income below 200% of the federal poverty level. However, his proposed budget may not be up to the task of moving the dial on Ohio’s dismal infant mortality rates, child food security rankings, equitable school funding, and the overall economic security of everyday Ohioans.
Gov. DeWine’s proposed child tax deduction is a far cry from the successful federal expanded child tax credit that cut child poverty by 30% nationwide. The governor’s deduction would do nothing for families making less than $26,050, based on 2022 data. Those with incomes between $26,000-$45,000 could save about $67 per child. Our proposed Thriving Families Tax Credit would provide a $700 credit per child under the age of 18 for households with yearly incomes below $65,000 — for about the same amount we’d save by simply closing the billion-dollar LLC loophole.
As part of the All in For Ohio Kids coalition, we won funding for the Fair School Funding Plan (FSFP) in the last budget. This time around, we’re fighting to make that funding permanent. Gov. DeWine’s proposal to extend FSFP funding is adequate, but Ohio’s kids, families and school communities need a permanent commitment to the funding equity required by Ohio’s constitution. The governor’s proposal to dramatically increase funding for school vouchers through the EdChoice Program would undermine progress toward that goal by sending public dollars to unaccountable private schools.
At times, Gov. DeWine's speech described the kind of Ohio we’ve long been working toward: one that works for everyone, without exception. To make that vision a reality, Ohioans need more than words. We need concrete, evidence-based policies that put people first. In the coming weeks, Policy Matters will dig into the governor’s proposal, to determine how well he does that.