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Ohio Senate

Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) gestures during a discussion about the Ohio Senate version of the budget as President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) looks on.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The final version of the Ohio Senate’s budget is expected Wednesday. While there will certainly be some proposals added in, some things are unlikely to change – such as the money going to the local government fund, which has been decimated over the last eight years.

Thousands of posters popped up around Ohio State's campus detailing mental health resources, following a string of suicide attempts in 2018.
Deepti Hossain / WOSU

Advocates are calling on the Ohio Senate to restore $36 million in funding for mental health and suicide prevention before they pass the state budget. That money was in the House budget but was cut in the Senate version.

Birthright operates two pregnancy resource centers in Columbus, including this location on Mound Street.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Among the changes the Senate made to the House version of the Ohio budget was a $5 million boost to a program that funds centers that counsel pregnant women against abortion.

The Ohio Senate’s budget plan adds more money to the fund that helps children who are dealing with severe mental and developmental issues while shifting policy to help parents maintain custody of their children in the process.

Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) gestures during a discussion about the Ohio Senate version of the budget as President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) looks on.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Republican Senate leaders say the budget they released yesterday is not the final product, but it does represent some of the changes they wanted to make to the House’s spending plan.

School bus.
Pixabay

Republican Senate leaders have frozen the existing school funding formula in their version of the budget. So did the House, but it did add funding into services to help lower-income students. 

Ohio Senate Republicans made sweeping changes to the House version of the state budget, including larger tax cuts and restored tax breaks.

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina)
Ohio Senate

With the deadline to sign a new two-year budget a little over two weeks away, Ohio's state senators are releasing their proposal for that spending plan Tuesday. There are likely to be some changes from the $69 billion proposal that overwhelmingly passed the Ohio House last month.

The Ohio Senate will begin official hearings on the extensive energy bill that would redirect the state’s attention away from renewables and subsidize nuclear and coal instead. 

Students in the classroom
Columbus Neighborhoods / WOSU

A group of school districts that aren’t getting the money they say they are owed by the state’s school funding formula are threatening a federal lawsuit if the issue isn’t resolved.

A classroom at Cleveland's John Hay High School.
Ashton Marra / Ideastream

Dozens of people lined up to voice their opposition to state takeovers of local school districts through the so-called Academic Distress Commission. The Ohio Senate is considering legislation that could repeal and replace the system that has been in place since 2015.

A man watches a baseball game in a casino.
John Locher / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss what legalized sports gambling will look like in Ohio. Brent Johnson, a reporter who covers the New Jersey Statehouse for the Star Ledger and NJ.com, joins the show.

A new program at Miami University Hamilton will allow pay for college expenses of students while they work part-time at a select local company.
Miami University

A state senator is touting a new program that he says can play a critical role in college affordability and workforce development by connecting college freshmen with employers.

Jody Davis, testifies at the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of SB11. She shares stories of discrimination as a transgender woman.
Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

Several people identifying as LGBTQ went before an Ohio Senate committee to tell their stories of discrimination. They want lawmakers to approve the “Ohio Fairness Act,” a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the state’s anti-discrimination law. 

A deduction that allows many small businesses to take the first $250,000 of their income tax-free was cut back significantly in the Ohio House version of the budget. But senators may not vote to keep the change.

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