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ECOT Lays Off Staffers, And Senators Pass Their Budget - Without Changing The Small Business Tax Cut

A quarter of the workforce at the state’s largest online school is getting laid off as the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow faces paying back $60 million to the state for inflating its enrollment numbers. And backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to establish a bill of rights for crime victims have filed their petitions to put the issue on this fall’s ballot. 

The Senate has passed a $65 billion-dollar two-year state budget but not before it made more than 150 changes to the spending proposal. The Senate’s budget doesn’t change the state’s tax structure, though it does change a land valuation formula to provide property tax relief for farmers. It cuts most agencies three to four percent across the board. It slashes about $200 million in Medicaid spending and cuts $22 million dollars for prisons. Many schools will see slight increases or flat spending. But the budget makes no changes to a key tax change from a few years ago that supporters say would spark the economy, but critics say is giving back almost nothing compared to its cost. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

The Senate version of the budget is different than the House passed bill. Now, representatives from both sides are working to hammer out their differences. And time is running out. Discussing the budget with Jo Ingles and Andy Chow of the Statehouse News Bureau are Jim Siegel from the Columbus Dispatch and Jackie Borchardt with Cleveland.com.