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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Senate Budget Plan Is A Mixture Of Cuts And New Spending

L-R Senators Randy Gardner, Bob Peterson, Larry Obhof, Scott Oelslager, Gayle Manning

The Senate has unveiled its version of the two-year state budget. It dedicates even more money for the state to fight the opioid epidemic and includes more money for most schools. But it also comes with spending cuts for state agencies and outright elimination of some programs. A few weeks ago, Gov. John Kasich, House and Senate leaders gathered to say the budget needed to be cut by $800 million dollars because of falling revenues. But Senate President Larry Obhof says the new budget his members propose assumes more than a one-billion-dollar deficit once Medicaid spending is factored into the equation.“This budget is not pain free. Many government agencies, including the Senate, will see substantial cuts compared to prior versions of the bill.”Obhof says many state agencies will see cuts of three or four percent. Medicaid administration will be cut by $25 million – the state’s prison system by $20 million. But Obhof says the Senate has made changes so most local schools will get more under this plan. And the Senate is adding $6 million to fight the opioid crisis- bringing the total to more than $176 million dollars.    Copyright 2017 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.