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Ohio Senate Trims $1 Billion From Proposed Budget, Saves Anti-Addiction Funding

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof
Ohio Senate
Medina Republican Larry Obhof says it was "a difficult process," but the Senate has cut around $1 billion from the proposed two-year state budget.

The Senate has unveiled its version of the two-year state budget. It dedicates even more money for the state to fight the opioid epidemic and includes more money for most schools. But it also comes with spending cuts for state agencies and outright elimination of some programs.

A few weeks ago, Gov. John Kasich, House and Senate leaders gathered to say the budget needed to be cut by $800 million dollars because of falling revenues.

But Senate President Larry Obhof says the new budget his members propose assumes more than a $1 billion deficit once Medicaid spending is factored into the equation.

“This budget is not pain free. Many government agencies, including the Senate, will see substantial cuts compared to prior versions of the bill,” says Obhof.

Obhof says many state agencies will see cuts of three or four percent. Medicaid administration will be cut by $25 million – the state’s prison system by $20 million.

But Obhof says the Senate has made changes so most local schools will get more under this plan. And the Senate is adding $6 million to fight the opioid crisis — bringing the total to more than $176 million dollars.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.