© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ohio’s massive new two-year operating budget goes heavy on education and voucher funding


After months of wrangling, Ohio has a new two-year operating budget. Governor Mike DeWine signed off on the budget early Tuesday after making 44 line-item vetoes. At more than 6,000 pages, the budget is huge. And it’s also massive in its scope. When you factor in the last of the federal COVID relief dollars and other funds, the budget totals $191.2 billion in spending. The budget includes expanded vouchers and restores public education funding. It reshapes the Ohio State Board of Education by stripping most of that board’s powers away. A measure to overhaul higher education was removed from the budget, but may yet be passed as a separate measure.

Ohioans will decide on Aug. 8 whether to increase the voter support needed to amend the state’s constitution. State Issue 1 will raise the threshold to 60% of the vote. Currently amendments can be passed with a simple majority vote. State Issue 1 also makes changes to how signatures needed to qualify for a ballot measure must be collected. The deadline to register to vote for the August special election is Monday. Early voting begins Tuesday.

Advocates for State Issue 1, including Secretary of State Frank LaRose, have made clear the issue is aimed squarely at preventing a reproductive health amendment, that guarantees abortion protections, from being added to the state constitution. That issue is planned for the November ballot. So, if voters approve State Issue 1, it would need 60% of the vote to pass. This week groups pushing for the ballot delivered more than 700,000 signatures. The goal to make the ballot is 414,000 verified signatures.

Backers of a law to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio also delivered their petition signatures this week. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol delivered nearly 223,000 signatures. The group needs 124,000 valid signatures to make the ballot.

We will discuss these topics and some of the rest of the week’s headlines on this week’s Reporters Roundtable.

-Stephanie Czekalinski, Deputy Editor for News, Ideastream Public Media
-Abbey Marshall, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."