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Senate Reveals Its Version Of Budget, Including "Substantial Cuts" To Prisons, State Agencies

Jo Ingles
Senate Leaders Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House), President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), Scott Oelslager (R-Canton) and Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville)

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.”

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. 

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