Here’s a recap of some of the Senate changes that members will be voting on today:
- LSC Comparison Document (Executive vs. House vs Senate bill provisions)
- Watch Senate Session Live (scheduled at 11am) on OhioChannel.org
Among the highlights of the House plan:
- Shrinks the so-called “LLC Loophole,” under which owners of certain pass-through businesses collect their first $250K in income tax-free and get a preferential rate for revenue beyond that.
- Applies the sales tax to ride-sharing trips from Lyft and Uber.
- Requires out of state online retailers to collect Ohio’s sales tax.
- Eliminates various breaks for owners of private jet time-shares, motor racing teams, purchases of flight simulators and motion picture productions.
- Eliminates state income taxes on the bottom income brackets and lowers rates on middle earners.
- Requires graduating high school seniors to complete the FAFSA – a policy shown to substantially improve college financial aid awards
- Increases funding for the enforcement wage and hour laws
- Doubles funding for rape crisis centers
- No school funding plan, but backers continue to work on tweaks that could address concerns from low-income rural and urban districts. Stay tuned.
Next UpOn Tuesday and Wednesday, the House Finance committee will hear more public testimony (read all submitted testimony, listed by hearing date) on the plan, and is expected to vote on amendments and to pass the bill at its Wednesday meeting (agenda). After that, the bill heads to the full House for a vote on Thursday afternoon or, if needed, Friday morning. We’ll send more details about what’s in the House amendments later this week to our budget list – sign up if you’re not already a subscriber.
Budget UpdateThe House will adopt a substitute version of Governor DeWine’s two-year budget proposal (HB166) this week, incorporating many — potentially hundreds — of the over 2,000 amendments proposed by members. Some proposals we’ll be watching for include changes to (or replacement of) DeWine’s proposal for funding schools, the scaling back of tax breaks for business owners or the creation of new tax breaks. It’s also not uncommon to see standalone bills moving separately in the legislature get tacked on to the budget bill to ensure their passage by the end of the fiscal year. One such proposal that could go that route is the Speaker’s priority legislation (HB6) to create a new surcharge to support the state’s nuclear power plants. We may also see cuts to funding levels in the Governor’s budget proposal to bring it in line with the legislature’s more conservative revenue estimates. The House Finance committee will adopt the substitute on Wednesday, hear public testimony on Thursday and continue its work early next week before sending the bill to the full House of Representatives, which has scheduled sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (if needed) next week. The Senate continues its committee hearings on the budget despite the House not yet formally sending them the bill.
Abortion and GunsThe Ohio General Assembly has remained laser-focused on its twin goals of making it easier to access guns and harder to access abortion. This week, we have two anti-abortion bills getting hearings in House committees. One, House Bill 90 (Antani) would require the state to develop a curriculum for teaching students about the “humanity of the unborn” in 3rd through 12th grade, while requiring legislative review before the curriculum is implemented. The other, Senate Bill 27 (Uecker) would require the burial or cremation of fetal material resulting from abortion, but not miscarriage or other causes of fetal demise. The House Federalism committee will hear proponent testimony on House Bill 178 (Hood, Brinkman), permitless carry legislation long sought by gun rights proponents that would eliminate Ohio’s training and licensing requirements for carrying concealed firearms, and open the door for even some convicted criminals to legally aquire deadly weapons.
New LegislationSome of the new bills introduced last week that we’ll be watching in the coming months: House Bill 216, Employment Practices (Skindell, Kelly) – To require fair and predictable scheduling practices by chain retail and food services employers. House Bill 221, Wage Discrimination (Boyd, Crawley) – To require the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to establish a system for individuals to make anonymous complaints about wage discrimination. House Bill 223, Wind Setbacks (Strahorn, Skindell) – To reduce the minimum distance a wind farm of five or more megawatts must be located from a neighboring property. Senate Bill 133 (O’Brien, Manning) and House Bill 215 (Boggs, Carfagna) – The “Reagan Tokes Act;” To modify Ohio law for reentry of certain offenders, maximum workload and caseload standards for parole and field officers, GPS monitoring of offenders released from prison, and entry into LEADS of specified information about GPS-monitored offenders, and to require the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission to appoint an Offender Supervision Study Committee. >> You can monitor the status of all the bills we are watching here.
Ohio is lagging far behind its stated goal of having 65 percent of our citizens attain post-secondary degrees or certificates. These post-secondary options must be more attainable for more of our students, especially those from at-risk populations. We will not reach the goal without significant improvement in attainment among our economically-disadvantaged, minority and first-generation students. These recommendations would all cut to the core of these issues, making colleges and universities more accessible and attainable for more students.