We’re in the final 3 weeks of the legislative calendar before summer break, which is the time when priority bills start flying through committee so fast it makes your head spin. More on that below. We also have two actions you can take at the end of this week’s update.
The legislature must send a completed budget to the Governor by June 30, and today we got our first look at how the Senate plans to address a $1 billion annual gap between expected state revenue and spending. In short, the Senate GOP announced the budget gap will be closed entirely through program cuts, leaving tax breaks and the $2 billion “raIny day fund” untouched. This comes despite revelations that the new “small business tax cut” costs the state $1 billion per year, without evidence that it produces any employment gains.
Monday: substitute bill, 2:30pm
Tuesday: public testimony, 11am
Wednesday: public testimony,10:30am
Thursday: public testimony, 1:00pm
All hearings are held in the Senate Finance hearing room and broadcast live on ohiochannel.org.
Also on Tuesday, the House Education and Career Readiness committee will hold its fourth hearing on a proposal (HB200) to expand the state’s private school voucher program to income-eligible students in all school districts, redirecting funding away from even the state’s high-performing public districts. IO’s Steve Dyer will testify at the hearing.
And on Wedneday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee will hold its second hearing in as many weeks on HB114, legislation to unravel Ohio’s renewable energy and efficiency standards. The same proposal was vetoed by the Governor during the lame duck session, but Republicans have added more members in both the House and Senate, and may have the votes to override.
1. Stop Trumpcare
Senate Republicans are rushing through a dangerous rework of the nation’s healthcare system in hopes that voters won’t find out its effects until after it’s already been passed. It’s time to speak out against the American Healthcare Act. On Tuesday, attend a rally in Cleveland or Columbus, and on Wednesday, participate in the National Call-In Day to stop Trumpcare by calling Senator Portman at one of his office numbers:
2. Tell the Ohio Senate: No More Bans
On Tuesday, attend the hearing on SB145, the 2nd trimester abortion ban, to show Senators that Ohioans will not sit back as they continue their attacks on women’s constitutional rights. If you cannot attend, contact your Senator and members of the Senate Judiciary committee and ask them to stop SB145.
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