State budget: 3,747-page road map

It affects you, if you ...
Joe Centers
Jul 7, 2013


The new two-year state budget spends $62 billion, but it also does so much more.
The measure increases state general-revenue-fund spending by 14.6 percent over the previous two-year budget, including increases of 9.3 percent this year and 4.8 percent next year. Although it stretches only two years, three-year state projections show a quartet of tax cuts total about $5.3 billion, while a dozen tax increases add up to about$2.6 billion, for a net decrease of$2.7 billion.
State budget bills have long been havens for various policy changes, and despite a constitutional prohibition against passing bills containing more than one subject, the practice is growing. The 3,747-page budget is nearly 500 pages longer than the one two years ago, and nearly 1,900 pages longer than the budget passed in 2007, according to Hannah News Service.
The budget affects you, if you ...
--Pay income tax: Rates are cut 8.5 percent this year, 9 percent next year and 10 percent in 2015.
Like to buy stuff: Increases the state sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5.75 percent, starting in September.
Own property: The state no longer will pay 12.5 percent of property taxes on new or replacement levies; existing levies will still get the rollback when they are renewed for the same amount.
--Want a different type of school year: Changes the minimum school year from 182 days to a minimum number of hours, and eliminates calamity days (snow days).
--Pay your cable bill late: Permits a cable company to shut you off in 14 days, instead of the current 45, and allows disconnection if only part of a bill is paid.
--Are in college: Limits university fee increases to 2 percent per year.
--Crave a margarita-flavored popsicle: Revises the state's definition of "mixed beverages" to include alcohol-infused foods.
--Wonder why some laws weren't changed years ago: No longer requires that you write a check to the state, or that Ohio write one to you, if the amount in taxes owed is $1 or less.
--See the glass half-full: Spends about $720 million more in operating money over two years on K-12 education, an 11 percent increase that is the biggest in a decade. Also increases local-government funds by $28 million over two years.
--See the glass half-empty: School-funding levels in 2014 will exceed 2009 funding levels by only 1 percent. Total two-year funding for local governments is $200 million less than in the last budget.
--Plan to die soon: Establishes a task force to recommend changes to state cemetery laws.
--Care about the abortion debate (part 1): Requires that a woman get an external ultrasound before having an abortion, and requires the doctor to inform the woman if a heartbeat is detected and the statistical likelihood of carrying the fetus to full term.
--Care about the abortion debate (part 2): Effectively cuts off Planned Parenthood from $1.4 million in federal money.
--Care about the abortion debate (part 3): Requires abortion clinics to have a transfer agreement with a hospital, and prohibits public hospitals from signing transfer agreements with those clinics.
--Care about the abortion debate (part 4): Establishes unspecified funding for crisis-pregnancy centers, which provide alternatives to abortion.
--Care about the abortion debate (part 5): Provides $1 million per year to rape-crisis programs in Ohio, but prohibits counselors from discussing abortion as a medical option.
--Think 60 is the new 50: Reduces from 60 to 50 the age requirement for members of the Ohio Advisory Council on Aging and the public member of the state Board of Optometry.
--Feel Ohio lacks license-plate options: Creates the Massillon Tiger Football Booster Club; Truth, Justice, and the American Way; Ohio Coal; Kiwanis Club; and Ohio History license plates.
--Are unlucky at the casinos: Eliminates the state income-tax deduction for gambling losses.
--Own a business: Creates a new 50 percent tax deduction on up to $250,000 of business income. Also increases commercial-activities-tax payments for businesses with more than $1 million in sales.
--Worry about fracking waste: Sets new regulations and a new $2,500 permit fee for brine disposal.
--Hold a professional license: Creates a fund to develop a replacement automated licensing system for professional boards.
--Wonder what the state does with all its land and buildings: Creates a task force charged with doing an inventory on state assets, studying utilization of property and if assets could be used more productively.
--Know someone in a nursing home: Requires nursing homes to participate in at least one state quality-improvement project every two years. Prohibits the use of overhead paging except for urgent matters.
--Own a snake: Those with restricted permits must follow housing and care standards set by the Zoological Association of America.
--Drive a natural-gas or electric car: Expands the types of projects that may be funded with air-quality revenue bonds to include equipment related to recharging or refueling vehicles that use alternative fuels or renewable energy.
--Want to help rape victims: Establishes a $100 sex-offender registration fee and optional fine of up to $500 on a person convicted of a sexually oriented offense to fund a new Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund to help those who are sexually assaulted.
--Trust your barber: Extends to six years how long a barber's license can expire without having to take an exam.
--Bring the family to a casino: Allows someone younger than 21 to pass through a gambling area as long as he or she is escorted by licensed casino personnel.
--Worry about religious freedom: Exempts religious corporations, schools and societies from prohibitions relating to discriminatory employment practices, with respect to an employee's particular religion.
--Have money you don't yet know about: Allows for the payment of interest on unclaimed funds held by the state.
--Want to drink while others drive: Exempts outdoor motorsports facilities from the state open-container law if a race is occurring.
--Appreciate small-town safety: Earmarks $2.2 million per year to help small fire departments purchase equipment or do training.
--Are innocent, sort of: Does not allow a wrongfully imprisoned person to collect compensation if he or she was serving concurrent sentences for other, legitimate convictions.
--Care about corruption: Ensures that the state's bribery law applies to JobsOhio personnel.
--Care about autism: Requires a number of state agencies to create a certification process for individuals providing support for those with an autism spectrum disorder.
--Want to pay for safer schools: Allows districts to request a property tax exclusively for school safety. Also sets aside $12 million for a school-security grant program.
--Want outside-the-box thinking: Creates a $250 million fund to provide grants to school districts that come up with new ways to improve student achievement, reduce spending or put more spending in the classroom.
--Prefer online education: Limits the enrollment growth of charter e-schools, including three new ones that will open next year.
--Want more kids to choose private school: Expands taxpayer-funded vouchers to 2,000 low-income kindergartners who want to attend private schools. Expands to 2,000 first-graders the second year.
--Have a home-schooled or private-school student: Permits students at private schools or home-schooled to participate in an extracurricular activity at the student's home district.
--Think your teachers have skills: Replaces proficient with skilled for teachers and principals who get the second-highest performance rating.
--Attend a low-income school: Allows the state superintendent to set up a nonprofit corporation that would develop a program to train individuals in public-school administration and place them in schools with poverty levels of more than 50 percent.
--Like charter schools: They get more money overall, plus $100 per student for facilities.
--Want kids to have a strong bite: Establishes a program aimed at improving oral health of school-age children.
--Are having a baby: Funds programs to educate about safe infant sleeping, screening women for progesterone supplements and helping pregnant women quit smoking.
--Care about human trafficking: Extends the statute of limitations on the offense from six years to 20 years.
--Want to see more home-based care: Requires that by June 30, 2015, (extended from this year) at least 50 percent of senior Medicaid recipients and 60 percent of physically disabled Medicaid recipients be in non-institutionally-based care.
--Like lakes with less pollution: Provides funding for dredging and treatment of inland lakes.
--Rent a limo: No longer requires that a chauffeured limousine be hired on an hourly basis.
--Own a motorcycle: Allows two motorcycles to be parked in a parallel or a metered space.
--Feel Ohio isn't thinking enough about license plates: Creates a task force to determine the extent of plate degradation over time and whether having dual plates is beneficial to law enforcement.
--Prefer horns over whistles: Changes railroad warning requirements from a whistle and bell to a horn.
--Want more college graduates: Makes half of university funding contingent on graduation rates.
--Work in a prison: Increases the penalty for assaulting a corrections officer to a third-degree felony.
--Smoke little cigars: Increases the tax rate from 17 percent to 37 percent of the wholesale price.
--Are part of a fraternal or veterans organization: Creates new property-tax exemptions for certain groups.
--Like Ohio wine: Extends the two-cent per gallon of wine tax revenue for the Ohio Grape Industries Fund.
--Want more speed: Raises the speed limit on rural freeways to 70 mph, and increases limits on other rural highways.
--Are tired of registering your dog: Allows for a permanent dog registration, rather than annual.
(c)2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
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According to the Constitution of the State of Ohio:

"No bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly
expressed in its title."

With all the abortion items, etal, that would make this entire budget, and everything else in the law, unconstitutional.

On top of that, I hope no Republicans try to defend this governor and legislature as being fiscally conservative. This budget is 14.6% higher than Kasichs last budget which was almost 10% higher than the previous budget under Strickland and a democratic congress.


Re: "The measure increases state general-revenue-fund spending by 14.6 percent over the previous two-year budget,"

Not-to-worry, both Dem and Repub state governments are flush with cash from one-time, yr. end (Fiscal cliff) income tax receipts and many are increasing their public spending.

The SHTF when revenue inevitably declines, but the expenses do not - kinda like 2008.

Remember: Public spending helps the politicos to get re-elected, austerity and frugality do not.

"Indiana, in particular, got its house in order. Republican Gov. Mike Pence held spending to the inflation rate, and the state was able to finance a cut in its income tax and eliminate the estate tax."


It is kind of sad when no one (except me apparently) is outraged that Kasich signs one unconstitutional bill after another into law.

But I am not surprised that none of the right wingnuts are jumping up to defend the fiscal conservativeness of this administration.


Re: "the fiscal conservativeness of this administration."

You mean like the fiscal conservativeness of the previous admin.?

Enjoyed their "pie in the sky" analysis as the economy was tanking:

Not to worry, PLENTY of finger pointing to go around.


I find it ammusing how you laugh off the cold hard facts of the abuse of our tax dollars. So much for you being a libertarian. I knew that was a joke.


Re: "I find it ammusing"

I find it AMUSING that I'm attempting to converse with an illiterate.

You and other public spending whores wouldn't like classical liberal economic austerity.


I am sorry I got under your skin. I know it must be very painful to have to keep defending morons like Kasich, Batchelder, etc. But hey, look at the bright side. You are still getting paid for it. We all have things we don't like about our jobs.


Re: "defending morons like Kasich, Batchelder, etc,"

Wash, rinse, repeat:

Not to worry, PLENTY of finger pointing to go around.

I (STILL) find it AMUSING that I'm attempting to converse with an illiterate.


It makes me happy to know I can help feed your delusions of intellectual superiority.


I cant wait to finally get a break on some things. Its much needed.


The anhedonic loses again.