Republicans who run the Ohio Senate released their version of Gov. Kasich's proposed two year budget, maintaining the overall goal of fixing an $8 billion structural deficit without raising taxes. But Senators have made some key changes in spending on public schools, on local governments, and in other policy areas relating to the Ohio Lottery, merit pay for teachers, electronic skill-based games and beer and fast food.
The repeal of the controversial collective bargaining reform bill isn't even on the ballot yet, but powerful forces on both sides of the issue are already putting together organizations to promote their message about Senate Bill 5. And the Speaker of the House has his Twitter account hacked.
The proposed state budget doesn't raise taxes, and that makes business groups happy. But critics say the cuts in this budget are too deep, and the only way to balance the budget overall is to close tax loopholes and balance what individuals and corporations are paying. The budget's critics and supporters have now formed groups to promote their own message and counteract the other's. Linda Woggon of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce defends the budget as the head of Ohio's Campaign for Jobs. Brian Rothenberg of Progress Ohio opposes the budget as part of One Ohio Now, a coalition of unions and social advocacy groups that is opposed to much of the proposed budget.