Ohio Legislature Inches Closer to Budget Deadline, Takes Action on Hot-Button Issues

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With the June 30th deadline looming, lawmakers Thursday took action on a number of hot button issues, none of which were the state budget.

The Ohio Business Roundtable continues to closely monitor the State Operating Budget (HB 110) as a vote in the next few days is imminent. We are engaged on several important topics that are expected to be addressed in the bill, including:

  • K-12 School Funding

  • Broadband Infrastructure Funding

  • Municipal Income Tax Collection

  • Personal Income Tax Cuts

  • Capital Gains Tax Deduction

According to Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) on Friday, a conference report and budget vote could come as soon as Monday. The Ohio Business Roundtable will keep members apprised of which components are included in the final version as soon as we know more.

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In the meantime, the Ohio House voted to add dangerous anti-vaccination language to a bill that provided local governments with COVID-19 relief money. The amendment would prevent any public or private entity from requiring a vaccine that is not FDA approved. It also prohibits those entities from treating an unvaccinated individual any differently than one who is vaccinated, which would prevent health care facilities from requiring unvaccinated staff from wearing masks or undergoing periodic testing to ensure they are not transmitting the illness within the facility.

This last-minute move sparked concern from health care providers and the business community. Ohio Business Roundtable joined with other entities to urge the Senate to not pass the language. As of now, it appears the bill will not immediately pass the Senate as that chamber added the COVID-19 relief language to a different bill so that it could pass without the anti-vaccination proposal. We applaud the Senate for slowing this amendment to provide an opportunity for interested parties to weigh in.

The Ohio House also passed another floor amendment prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in girls sports, which was added to the “name, image, and likeness” legislation being pushed by OSU Athletics. You can read more about this issue from the Columbus Dispatch by clicking here.

Alexandra Denney