Politics & Government

Ohio Budget Pact Clears Legislature

Dec 18, 2009

A state budget compromise that calls for Ohioans to pay more in 2009 taxes than expected has cleared the state Legislature.

After eking through the Senate in a 17-15 vote, it cleared the Ohio House 54-42 with two Republican votes.

Ohio Lawmakers Reach Tentative Budget Deal.

Dec 17, 2009

Ohio lawmakers have reached a deal to resolve an impasse over a budget deficit by combining Gov. Ted Strickland's tax cut delay with a pilot project for new construction rules.

The deal was reached late Wednesday. It would avert $850 million in budget cuts to school districts.

Lawmakers plan to vote on the deal Thursday once the agreement can be translated into legislation.

Statehouse Leaders Remain Resolute In Budget Stalemate

Dec 15, 2009

Both sides in the ohio budget impasse appear to be digging in their heels. That means it's still unclear whether this year's 4.2 per cent cut in the state income tax will be delayed, and it's still unclear how state legislators will fill a projected 851 million dollar money hole. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.

Four Decades of Ohio Politics

Dec 9, 2009

Four decades of important events and major figures in Ohio politics and government, with retired United Press International and The Columbus Dispatch reporter Lee Leonard.

Budget Compromise Eludes Ohio Lawmakers.

Dec 3, 2009

Ohio Senate Republicans appear willing to provide enough votes to approve of Gov. Ted Strickland's suggested tax cut delay.

But those Republicans want things in return from Democrats, and negotiations on closing a state budget gap continue.

Delaying a 4.2 percent income tax reduction would fill the $850,000,000 hole in the budget.

In times of fiscal crisis, budget battles often boil down to raising revenue or cutting spending. The governor and House Democrats - with the help of two Republicans - have voted to raise revenue by pulling back the final year of a five year income tax cut. But Republicans have talked up a plan to cut spending by consolidating state government. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has more on that plan.

Ohio House Passes Tax Delay

Oct 22, 2009

A proposal to delay this year's 4.2 per cent cut in the state income tax got an okay from the Democrat-dominated Ohio House of Representatives Wednesday evening. The plan now faces an uncertain fate in the Republican-dominated Ohio SENATE. The House debate lasted about 3 hours, mostly along party lines. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.

A new report shows Ohio lawmakers haven't passed many bills since the first of this year. It also shows lawmakers spent way more time fundraising than they do in legislative sessions. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are taking issue with the report. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles has more on the story.

Activists who want to eliminate the tax heirs pay on high-value estates have gotten the go-ahead to start their drive to put the issue before voters. But the campaign to kill the estate tax will likely be attacked by local communities if it makes it to the ballot. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked with a key opponent of the estate tax and an operative who opposes the effort to erase it.

A final version of the Ohio budget removes a provision that would have allowed natural gas drilling in Ohio state parks and strips school districts of the authority to determine whether pupils should say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The plan also clarifies Gov. Ted Strickland's authority to put slot machines at Ohio's horse racing tracks to raise an estimated $933 million.

A legislative committee voted 5-1 on Monday to approve the budget plan after little debate or discussion.

The roughly $52 billion spending plan now goes to votes in the House and Senate.