Senators Release Budget, And Debating "Extreme-ness" In The Legislature

It didn’t take Senate Republicans long to unveil their version of the budget that the House passed last week. Senate President Keith Faber unveiled GOP Senators’ spending plan, which does not include Gov. John Kasich’s proposed expansion of the state sales tax to some 80 services not taxed now, it does not include the tax on big oil and natural gas drillers, and it does not include an expansion of Medicaid. But Gov. Kasich says he's not discouraged.

President Faber started out the budget news conference by announcing that the Senate would take up an all-out ban on internet cafes. Senators had told our Bill Cohen that they planned to deal with the internet café ban, but had said it could take months to pass it as part of a comprehensive reform.

And the race for the Democratic nomination for governor is on, as Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald says he’s officially in the race, after months on the local Democratic dinner circuit.

The Senate Republican budget departs dramatically from Gov. John Kasich’s spending plan, as the House Republicans’ budget which passed last week. Both chambers stripped out Kasich’s proposed expansion of Medicaid and the severance tax on big oil and natural gas drillers - though polls show both of those ideas have support from voters, who also elected Republican state lawmakers in big numbers in the last two elections. So is the legislature too extreme? Or is it doing the hard work that voters expect? Jeff Longstreth is a Republican consultant and has worked on statewide campaigns, perhaps most notably Issue 3, the so-called Health Care Freedom Amendment, in 2011. Dale Butland is with the progressive think-tank Innovation Ohio, and is a veteran of statewide candidate and issues campaigns, including the repeal of the collective bargaining reform law Senate Bill 5 that same year.

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