COLUMBUS—State Senator Steve Wilson
(R-Maineville) last week joined his legislative colleagues and Governor Mike DeWine in approving Amended Substitute House Bill 166
, Ohio's two-year operating budget.
"This bipartisan bill takes great strides to cut taxes, make historic investments in Ohio's children and families, support veterans, and keep Ohio's natural resources clean and beautiful," said Senator Wilson. "Thank you to my constituents and the passionate advocates in Columbus who either testified or contacted my office to make their voice heard."
Wilson, sponsor of Senate Bill 122
, also cited that he is glad the budget expands the pay for success initiatives to maximize public-private partnerships—investing only in effective programs and strategies to tackle a variety of public policy issues.
"I am especially proud that we included language similar to Senate Bill 122, which will allow us to leverage private sector ingenuity and investment to ensure our tax dollars are being used to pay for real, proven results," added Wilson. "Our constituents expect us to be effective with their tax dollars, and this provision ensures we are paying for outcomes, not simply good intentions."
Other budget highlights include:
- Protecting the Health of Ohio’s Natural Resources: Continues to protect the health and viability of Ohio’s lakes and rivers by fully funding the H2Ohio program over the next two years in a comprehensive effort to deal with the challenges faced by Lake Erie and Ohio’s other vital waterways.
- Investing in Ohioans’ Health and Wellbeing: Makes targeted investments in kinship, multi-system youth, and crisis care, providing funding for families caring for children whose parents are struggling with addiction.
- Investing in Education and Career Readiness: Provides increased funding for Ohio’s nationally-recognized libraries and programs that invest in early childhood programs.
- Supporting Our Veterans: Increases funding for various veterans’ organizations, including innovative programs focused on groundbreaking research for brain trauma and other mental health concerns.
- Providing for Vital Community Services: Funding directed to Ohio’s food banks and other vital community service providers, like Boys and Girls Clubs, United Way family stability programs, Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, and the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition.¿
Additionally, the Senate fought to include tax reforms totaling $680 million, providing significant tax relief and support to Ohioans and small businesses with the purpose of keeping the state’s economy healthy and growing.
Key elements of the tax reform plan include:
- Eliminating the bottom two-tax brackets to help Ohio’s lower income families.
- Implementing a 4% across the board income tax cut for the remaining five brackets. The Senate’s last two budgets have reduced the overall number of brackets from 9 to 5.
- Protecting the backbone of Ohio’s economy by keeping the existing small business tax deduction framework of exempting the first $250,000 of revenue.