Representative Sears Announces End of Budget Deadlock

COLUMBUS- State Representative Barbara Sears (R- Sylvania) today
announced the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 1. The
$50.5 billion, two-year state operating budget passed the Ohio House by
a vote of 54-44.

Today, the House voted to accept the changes made by a six-member
legislative conference committee, nearly two weeks past the July 1st
deadline. The committee was tasked with closing a $3.2 billion deficit
after Governor Strickland's administration announced a steep decline in
state revenues in June.

"It's disappointing that the governor's budget, now Ohio's budget,
ripped apart meaningful programs in the State, but didn't show basic
respect for the taxpayers in Ohio by having a serious conversation about
ways to restructure state government," said Sears.

The measure still contains items for which House Republicans have
repeatedly raised objections. The plan is the Governor Strickland's
framework which includes $4.3 billion in one-time revenue sources, with
approximately $2.2 billion in temporary federal funding; institutes more
than $1 billion in fee increases which the governor has previously
equated to a tax increase; and paves the way for the governor to expand
gambling in Ohio with slot machines.

House Republicans have continually called for measures to be added to
the budget that would streamline government operations and the Medicaid
system to save the state nearly $3 billion over the next two years. Two
proposals, House Bill 25 and House Bill 240, were dismissed as
amendments to the budget by House Democrats, who currently hold the
majority of seats in the Ohio House. Republicans have stressed the need
for these long-term solutions as important to the stability of future
budgets, and as a means to protect vital services for all Ohioans.

"It is my hope that in the balance of this General Assembly we will work
to implement real change, it's time to tell state bureaucrats and
elected officials that they can't continue to throw up road blocks,"
said Sears. "It's time to reinvent Ohio and make Ohio work for the
taxpayers."

The bill will now be sent to Governor Strickland for his signature.

No votes yet