The Ohio Senate is set to vote on its version of the state’s two-year, $75 billion budget.
The main items in the Senate’s budget plan, which is similar to the budget on which the Ohio House voted in April, are an income tax cut, along with increased school funding.
“The two biggest differences in the plans are how they calculate the base cost (what schools get per kid) and the state share (how much local districts should be able to raise on their own),” according to The Columbus Dispatch. “Each plan uses its own formula, and both sides think theirs is better.”
The Senate says its plan puts more money into the coffers of Ohio public schools over the next two years. The House says the Senate’s version of the bill was rushed, and that the Senate has not taken the time to understand the long-term implications of its proposal.
Both Chambers want to give Ohioans an income tax cut, too.
The House proposed a two percent income tax cut that must be reconciled with the Senate’s five percent income tax cut proposal.
However, the Senate has added some of its own agenda items too, namely a measure proposing stricter emergency medical requirements for abortion clinics.
“Under Ohio law, clinics must have a written transfer agreement with a nearby, private hospital to help patients in case of an emergency,” The Columbus Dispatch said. “If no hospital agrees, clinics can request a variance from the Ohio Department of Health by showing a group of doctors will treat the women if needed.”
The new law would require that abortion clinics using variances prove that the doctors they have available for emergencies practice within 25 miles of the abortion clinic, and do not teach medicine at public universities or hospitals.
Two abortion clinics, Women’s Med and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio use such variances, but would not meet the criteria for those variances under the new law.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.