Today, the Ohio Senate gave its final approval to the state’s two-year, $69 billion budget bill, House Bill 166.
“This is the first state budget that I’ve been able to support because it’s focused on helping the Ohioans most in need,” said state Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Avondale)
. “There is now more funding to help our children in poverty, fight the opioid crisis, expand counseling and mental health services and increase the wages for home health care workers. While the bill is mostly positive, I am disappointed that the LLC loophole, which hasn’t been proven to create any jobs, remains largely unchanged. I also believe that we must address the inadequacy of public school funding. But I am confident that we can do this, and must do this as quickly as possible, in separate legislation.”
Senator Thomas helped secure several local investments in the bill, including:
- More funding for local governments, public libraries, services for the elderly, access to healthy food, college tuition grants, kinship caregiver services, multi-system youth and the prevention of custody relinquishment of children.
- An increase of $300,000 in each fiscal year for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden to support educational programming.
- Permitting organizations that engage in harm reduction efforts and places of worship to procure and administer naloxone without having to obtain a license.
Having been approved by the Senate and House, the bill now goes to the governor for his signature and potential vetoes.