Ohio House members to tackle Mike DeWine's proposed $87B budget
The long state budget process begins Tuesday with hearings in the Ohio House Finance Committee on Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed $87 billion two-year spending plan.
DeWine's budget includes new initiatives and bolsters existing programs for children, families, and communities. It also includes more funding for safety forces and job development efforts.
Some of that is one-time, federal pandemic money but other parts of the spending are tied to ongoing revenue streams.
Kim Murnieks, director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, is expected to answer questions from the finance committee.
Last week, Murnieks said the budget is balanced in a way that it can minimize impacts from any future economic downturn.
“We do everything we do everything in this budget to ensure that we are carefully constructed to not hit a fiscal cliff in the future,” Murnieks said on "The State of Ohio."
The House finance committee will go over the governor’s budget, starting with its spending projections, then add their own changes through amendments.
Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville), finance committee chair, has said majority Republicans want to include an income tax cut in the upcoming two-year state budget.
House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) recently told reporters he would also like to see an income tax cut in the budget to become "more competitive" with other states.
"I kind of like how Ohio is getting it to a flat tax, but the lower bracket is you get some — I'm trying to think of the word — some grace, I guess, on the first $25,000 of income. So I think that's kind of a nice way to not pay income tax on those lower earners. But it makes it simpler, it makes it more easier to administer," Stephens said.
While DeWine's budget doesn't include an income tax cut, it does include some other tax breaks. He's proposed an elimination of the state sales tax on baby products. That's estimated to cost the state $16 million. He's proposed a $2,500 per child state tax deduction, which is not refundable.
The budget is supposed to pass the House and Senate by the end of June so it can be sent to DeWine's desk for his signature.
In 2019, that budget deadline was missed, forcing agencies to take cost-saving actions for a couple of weeks until it was finalized.