Ohio would cut personal income taxes by 4%, raise the age for buying tobacco products to 21 and direct $550 million for educational wraparound services such as mental health counseling under the state budget that lawmakers belatedly sent to Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday, hours before their extended deadline.
Republican and Democratic leaders in the Ohio House are coming together to sponsor priority legislation for this General Assembly. That’s a departure from previous sessions, when each caucus announced their priorities separately.
A Republican former state lawmaker from Northeast Ohio is taking on a new job in the administration of Gov. Mike DeWine.
Sarah LaTourette left the Ohio House on Sunday and started work Monday as director of Ohio Family and Children First. The organization works with county-level councils to help kids who receive state services, such as mental health or foster care.
In Ohio, parents of children with severe mental health issues sometimes face an excruciating decision: To get their child costly care, they must sign over custody to the state. Now those parents are fighting for change, and a chunk of Gov. Mike Dewine’s budget.
Children services officials are celebrating a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine that nearly doubles the amount of state funding that goes towards their cause. They say this is the first indication in a long time that the state is taking issues like foster care seriously.
Ohio has nearly 16,000 children in the custody of county children’s services agencies. Gov. Mike DeWine wants to increase the number of foster care families available to meet that need and has a plan to recruit more foster parents.
Even beyond the failed Issue 1, the impact of the opioid crisis was all over Ohio ballots on Tuesday – from candidates with proposed opioid solutions to county levies for strained children services departments.