Budget Tax Cuts Deal, And Helping Ohio's Mentally Ill
A complicated deal on tax reform is on the table as the committee that’s working out the two version of the state budget got new revenue and Medicaid estimates to factor into the final deal. And while Medicaid expansion is not in the budget, Ohio lawmakers are hearing two bills that could determine what to do with the Medicaid program - a bill sponsored by Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Sylvania) and another from a quartet of lawmakers including Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster), the chair of the House Finance Committee.
Speaking of Medicaid…An estimated one in four people – including one in five children – have some sort of mental illness. The state is hoping to bring all those concerns together by merging two agencies, the Department of Mental Health with the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. But services to mentally ill people are spotty throughout Ohio. Tracy Plouck is the former state Medicaid director and now is the director of the Department of Mental Health, and will head up the two merged agencies.