Special to The Truth
Last week, state Senator Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) issued the following statement after the Ohio Senate voted to pass their version of House Bill 33, the state operating budget.
“The tax changes proposed in the Senate’s budget may benefit some Ohioans,” said Hicks-Hudson. “But when you look at the effect of these purported cuts, local governments will lose millions of dollars. That translates to severe cost burdens on communities, a weakened infrastructure, and a sweeping piece of legislation that was formed without listening to the people in our state.”
As passed by the Senate, House Bill 33 expands vouchers, slashes funding for social services, and cuts taxes in a way that disproportionately and unfairly benefits Ohio’s wealthiest residents. Additionally, it contains a number of controversial policy provisions, including:
* Senate Bill 1, which would transfer almost all the powers of the state Board of Education, comprised primarily of elected members, to a new executive agency;
* Senate Bills 83 and 117, which would dictate what may be taught in Ohio’s institutions of higher education and infringe on the collective bargaining rights of their faculty; and
* Senate Bill 21, which would allow the Senate President and House Speaker to hire outside legal counsel for whatever reason at any cost.
House Bill 33 (https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/135/hb33) now heads to the Ohio House. If the House does not concur with the Senate’s changes, the bill will go to the conference committee.