Jul 6, 2023 - Education

What's in (and not in) Ohio's $86B state budget

Illustration of the Ohio State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The two-year, $86 billion budget signed by Gov. Mike DeWine this week includes social safety net spending and a universal voucher program supporting enrollment in private schools.

Three other pieces of the new budget:

💵 Tax cuts. Lawmakers passed income tax cuts for individuals earning above $26,050 a year, though the biggest breaks are expected to go toward wealthy Ohioans.

  • The budget also exempts most businesses from paying the commercial activity tax and exempts baby products from sales tax collection.
  • These cuts will cost Ohio nearly $2.6 billion in revenue over the next two fiscal years, budget analysts estimate.

💻 Social media crackdown. Kids under 16 will need their parent or guardian's consent and ID verification in order to access social media sites.

  • This has been a pet project of Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who complains of inappropriate content and addictive algorithms.

🏫 K-12 education overhaul. The Statehouse transferred most powers from the State Board of Education to a newly created director of education and workforce to be appointed by the governor.

Zoom in: Lawmakers also created the Salmon P. Chase Center for Civics, Culture, and Society at OSU and allocated $190 million toward state fairgrounds improvements.

What DeWine vetoed:

💰 Even more tax cuts. Lawmakers voted to expand the annual sales tax holiday to 14 days, but DeWine wants state administrators determine the length.

🚬 Tobacco sales bans. The governor blocked efforts to preempt local governments from banning local sales of tobacco and alternative nicotine products.

  • DeWine unsuccessfully sought a statewide ban on flavored tobacco products.
  • Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) told WLWT-TV the legislature may override this veto.

💉 Student vaccine rules. The budget would have allowed Ohio college students to decline mandatory vaccines for medical, religious or personal reasons.

  • DeWine countered this "may compromise the overall health and safety of students, residents, staff, and faculty at the institution."

🗳 Curbing student trustees. The governor axed a proposal to revoke the voting power of Ohio State's student trustees, saying that decision should be up to the board.

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