Businesses Defend Tax Cuts In Budget, And LGBT Activists Speak More On Same-Sex Marriage Ballot Plan

The state budget includes a big windfall for small businesses. But there are questions about how - or if - the income tax cuts in the budget along with the increase in the state sales tax will grow Ohio's economy. Leaders from the state's top two organizations that lobby for Ohio’s business community talk about that. Dan Navin is an assistant vice president of tax and economic policy at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. And Chris Ferruso is the legislative director for the National Federation of Independent Business – Ohio.

2014 seems a long way away – but in political time, it’s not. Races for the five executive offices on next year’s ballot are definitely underway, and there’s even movement on some possible issue campaigns. A group that wants to block and eventually overturn the new crackdown on an estimated 800 internet cafes is gathering signatures for next year’s ballot. And there’s also the potential amendment to legalize same-sex marriage in Ohio. Last week the two LGBT community leaders who are arguably the most influential players in this debate appeared together for the first time on "The State of Ohio" last week to talk about the possible ballot issue - Ian James, the head of FreedomOhio, and Elyzabeth Holford, executive director of Equality Ohio, the state’s largest LGBT rights organization. Though James has said his campaign is moving forward toward 2014, he said no final decision has been made.

Next week, a special treat for real budget geeks – a return of two of our favorite experts on the state budget and Statehouse politics. Republican Neil Clark and Democrat Bill Shkurti will talk about a lot of topics, and in a preview, they explain their thoughts on the future of the severance tax on larger oil and natural gas drillers, which was stripped by Republican lawmakers from Gov. Kasich’s budget proposal.

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