Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the state’s 2018 and 2019 agenda Friday night, but not before vetoing multiple items in the document, including a freeze on Medicaid expansion.
Kasich vetoed a total of 47 items on the agenda, and the Ohio Senate has a week to override the vetoes.
“This provision would require the director of the
According to a previous Post report, Ohio University planned its budget around Kasich’s agenda.
The new state budget would have allowed colleges to increase tuition,
“Limiting the ability of state institutions of higher education to increase costs best aligns with Ohio’s ongoing efforts to increase access to higher education, improve careers opportunities for Ohioans, and make Ohio’s workforce more desirable to job creators around the world,” Kasich said in his veto.
Additionally, Kasich’s textbook initiative, which requires public universities to cover up to $300 dollars in textbook costs for students, was projected to cost OU up to $15 million, according to a previous Post report. That language, however, has since been removed from the budget and replaced with a requirement for higher education institutions to conduct studies on textbook costs and report their efforts to reduce costs to the state.
The City of Athens has openly opposed the new state budget. In February, Athens City Council members passed a resolution asking Kasich to amend a portion of the budget that would have local businesses file their business net profit filings through the state rather than through municipal auditors, if they choose to do so.
At the time, the budget also would require cities to pay a 1 percent “administrative services fee.”
According to the Ohio Municipal League, an organization representing cities around Ohio, that “service fee” has since been dropped to 0.5 percent, but the idea hasn’t been examined closely enough by legislators.
At an Athens City Council meeting in February, Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht said the service fee and the loss of business tax revenue would result in major losses for the city.
“We stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars if we don’t have them audited locally," Hecht said.
At that same meeting, Athens Councilman Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, derided the legislation.
“The state is imposing a service
Hecht said the legislation was meant to help
“The idea is to promote a business-friendly tax program,” she said. “We aren’t opposed to that, but it’s not going to help them as much as they think it is, and it’s certainly going to hurt municipalities.”
Clarification: The article has been updated to clarify details about the textbook initiative.