Legislation: Ohio House Bill 64 – Biennial Budget

Bill: House Bill 64 (full text)

Title: Biennial Budget

Sponsors: Representative Smith

Co-sponsors: Representatives Amstutz, Anielski, Baker, Blessing III, Boose, T. Brown, Buchy, Burkley, Dovilla, Ginter, Green, Hackett, Hagan, Hambley, Hill, Kraus, Maag, McClain, Perales, Reineke, Romanchuk, Scherer, Sears, Sprague, Speaker Rosenberger,

Bill Analysis:  The biennial budget spans the executive branch of Ohio government and thus has policy changes in every agency, many of which directly impact women and children in Ohio. The most significant changes are in the following areas:

  • The Senate added new restrictions on transfer agreements that abortion clinics are required to have with private hospitals which will likely close Toledo’s only clinic. The language was briefly removed, but added back by a House-Senate conference committee.
  • The Senate added another amendment that puts the last remaining clinics in Dayton and Cincinnati at risk of closure. Clinics that cannot obtain transfer agreements with local hospitals and apply for a waiver with the Department of Health will now have only 60 days in which the waiver can be granted, or it will be automatically denied.
  • The Governor’s proposal would have meant that women who become pregnant or are diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer would no longer be eligible for Medicaid coverage if they make between 138 and 200 percent of poverty (or $16,105 to $23,340 annually). Senate amendments restored coverage.
  • The Governor’s budget shifted future Medicaid funding to agency based providers of in-home healthcare services, threatening the livelihoods of tens of thousands of independent health providers, over 90 percent of whom are women. Independent providers earn between $13 and $16 per hour, compared to $8 to $9 per hour in agency settings. This provision was removed by the House.
  • Extends gradually reducing subsidies for child care for families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($39,325 per year for a single mom with one child), instead of ending it when incomes exceed 200 percent of poverty ($31,460 for the same family of 2). The budget also eliminates child care co-pays for families making less than 100 percent of poverty ($15,730 for a family of 2).
  • Earmarks $13.4 million from Medicaid and sets rules to ensure delivery of preventive, prenatal and postnatal services to women in areas at high risk for infant mortality.
  • Dedicates $2 million to train officials at Ohio’s public colleges and universities on best practices for the prevention of and response to campus sexual assaults.

Status: Introduced in the House February 11, 2015. Referred to House Finance Committee February 12, 2015. Passed 21-11 by House Finance Committee on April 21, 2015. Passed 63-36 by House on April 22, 2015. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee on April 28, 2015.  Passed an amended version 9-4 in Senate Finance Committee on June 17, 2015.  Passed 23-10 by Senate on June 18, 2015. Reported by House-Senate Conference Committee on June 25, 2015.  See how your legislator voted here. On June 30, 2015 the bill was signed by the governor, effective immediately with certain provisions effective on September 25, 2015 and unspecified later dates.

Votes Cast:

House 4/22/2015
Yeas: 63
Amstutz Anielski Antani Baker
Barnes Blessing Boose Brenner
Brown Buchy Burkley Butler
Conditt Cupp DeVitis Derickson
Dever Dovilla Duffey Ginter
Gonzales Green Grossman Hackett
Hagan Hall Hambley Hayes
Henne Hill Huffman Johnson, T.
Koehler Kraus Kunze LaTourette
Landis Maag Manning McClain
McColley Patmon Pelanda Perales
Reineke Retherford Rezabek Roegner
Romanchuk Rosenberger Ruhl Ryan
Schaffer Scherer Schuring Sears
Slaby Smith, R. Sprague Sweeney
Terhar Thompson Young
Nos: 36
Antonio Ashford Becker Bishoff
Boyce Boyd Brinkman Celebrezze
Cera Clyde Craig Curtin
Driehaus Fedor Gerberry Hood
Howse Johnson, G. Kuhns Leland
Lepore-Hagan O’Brien, M. O’Brien, S. Patterson
Phillips Ramos Reece Rogers
Sheehy Slesnick Smith, K. Stinziano
Strahorn Sykes Vitale Zeltwanger