Today, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed the state’s two-year, $69 billion budget bill, House Bill 166.
“There is still critical work to be done but I am confident that my colleagues in conference committee will continue the good work we have started,” said state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo). “I voted yes while remaining cautiously optimistic that we can come to a final agreement that invests all we can into education and the future of our children.”
Fedor applauded the inclusion of several local investments she secured in the bill:
- $150,000 in each fiscal year for the City of Toledo for lead-based paint abatement, containment and housing rehabilitation projects in the historic south neighborhood
- $500,000 in each fiscal year for adult education programs
- $125,000 in each fiscal year for STEM educator professional development
- Reduced high stakes testing within the state graduation requirements
- Additional funding for local libraries
The bipartisan budget also includes longstanding Democratic priorities. HB 166 increases funding for affordable housing programs through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. It includes various measures aimed at supporting Ohio’s children and families, like a proposal to prevent the custody relinquishment of children with severe mental health issues and additional funding for home-living programs for low income and elderly Ohioans. It also funds the H2Ohio water quality initiative through the next two years.
House and Senate members will now meet to negotiate a final version of the bill before the state-mandated June 30 deadline.