COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It was a late night at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday as a conference committee worked overtime trying to hammer-out differences between the House and Senat versions of the state’s $69 billion budget.
Lawmakers face a Wednesday deadline to draft their spending plan. The deadline was already extended once.
The conference committee agreed to an across-the-board 4% income tax cut, regulatory relief, and increased funding for children’s services and pre-kindergarten education.
Senate President Larry Obhof expects the budget to pass both chambers Wednesday.
“We are all focused on the same things, whether it’s the House, the Senate, or the governor’s office, and that’s making Ohio as strong as it can be, and that means providing key services that the people expect and the people need,” he said. “Making sure that we’re protecting and preserving Lake Erie and our waterways and the environment, but also providing tax relief to the hard-working men and women of Ohio.”
If passed, this version of the budget would also direct $100 million to pharmacies in Ohio to compensate for low Medicaid reimbursement, and boost transparency and control over how pharmacy benefits are administered.
A finalized budget was originally supposed to be on Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk by July 1. When both the state House and Senate failed to come to an agreement, a 17-day extension was approved.
It was the first time since 2009 that Ohio lawmakers have missed the legal deadline to pass a new state budget.
Both chambers of the legislature, as well as the governorship, are controlled by Republicans.