Patches of Fog
COLUMBUS - The Ohio House has preserved a portion of the statewide income-tax cut proposed by Gov. John Kasich in its version of the state operating budget but eliminated his call to expand Medicaid, marking a partial victory for the Republican governor.
Still, Kasich hasn't given up on his Medicaid expansion plan, a spokesman told WCPO Digital.
"It's clear that support isn't there right now among House Republicans to extend Medicaid coverage, but it's the right decision for Ohio," Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in an emailed statement. "Not doing so will hurt our economy, make Obamacare's impacts worse and hurt vulnerable Ohioans who need care. The House's proposed funds for mental illness and addiction addresses part of the problem but it's not enough. Ohio's support for this needed change is diverse and broad and the governor will see this through to get it done."
House budget changes released Tuesday included a 7-percent income tax reduction over two years. That compares to a 20-percent reduction over three years that had been proposed by Kasich. The governor accompanied his cut with a 50 percent tax cut for small businesses.
Kasich wants to reduce Ohio's income tax, which he views as economically burdensome.
The governor's $63.2 billion, two-year budget paid for the cut with a tax increase on oil and gas extraction. The House has pulled that proposal, along with Kasich's proposed expansion of the sales tax to professional services.