Issues > Governor Kasich’s Budget and Policies – How both have affected OUR community

Kasich vetoed Medicaid freeze; Is Legislature willing to override veto?



Ohio House Does Not Override Kasich's Veto
on Medicaid Expansion. Instead, Overrides 11 Others
Innovation Ohio | July 5, 2017
In large part due to significant public pushback, the Ohio House failed to override Governor Kasich's veto of their Medicaid Expansion freeze. This is great news for Ohio, as estimates had the freeze causing 500,000 Ohioans to lose coverage. However, this issue is not settled, as Speaker Rosenberger has stated that the chamber may revisit overriding the veto in the future. 
Here are Some Highlights of the 11 Vetoed Provisions the House Voted to Override:
The House voted to override the veto of items: 3, 23, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, and 37. You can find the full details of these provisions here.
Two very significant provisions were 36 and 37.

Item number 36 dealt with the "Healthy Ohio Program" this program would require Medicaid recipients to pay a monthly premium or lose coverage. 

Item number 37 transferred the appointment authority for members of the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission from the Governor to the General Assembly. By overriding the veto of this provision, this sets up the possibility that appointments by the GA to this board may authorize fracking on public lands. 
Attention Now Shifts to the Ohio Senate
Whether these 11 vetoes will be ultimately overridden will be determined in the Ohio Senate next week - most likely on July 12th. 
Stay tuned for updates in the coming days on what the Senate will do regarding veto overrides.


What happened to the 'Ohio Miracle'?

On December 6, Governor Kasich told members of the Ohio House: "We're on the verge of a recession in our state." What happened to the 'Ohio Miracle' he has been touting for seven years? Local communities have seen more and more tax levies on ballots in every election cycle as funds are kept in Columbus or being channeled to charter schools.

The state's two-year budget must be approved by the Governor by midnight June 30, 2017. Governor Kasich signed the budget a few minutes before the midnight deadline. Below are articles to keep you informed as the budget moved through the Ohio Legislature to the signing of the budget. 

How Governor Kasich's budgets and policies 
have affected our local community?

With Governor Kasich’s seventh State of the State address being held in Sandusky, Innovation Ohio continues its tradition of taking a close look at the community the speech will be given in to see how it has fared under the Governor’s policies.

Click here to see Innovation Ohio's analysis on Sandusky and Erie County.

Budget impact by school district

DistrictCurrentChange in 2 yearsPct. change 
Berlin-Milan Local SD$6,926,710($663,061)-9.6%Details  
Huron City SD$3,116,894($812,585)-26.1%Details  
Margaretta Local SD$5,427,709$166,5893.1%Details  
Perkins Local SD$5,719,423($1,019,785)-17.8%Details  
Sandusky City SD$21,062,890$3,038,91314.4%Details  
Vermilion Local SD$5,189,694($631,050)-12.2%Details  

Sources: Northeast Ohio Media Group, The Plain Dealer, and Ohio Office of Budget and Management


How to Talk About the House Budget - Innovation Ohio

Here's our guide to talking about the House changes to the proposed state budget. Use it to talk to friends, lawmakers or even write a letter to the editor.

House Budget: School District Funding - Innovation Ohio

WIth the recent adoption of budget amendments by the Ohio House of Representatives, we have updated our district-by-district comparison of school funding in the two-years beginning July 31, 2017 with funding levels at the peak of the Great Recession.

An Analysis - Innovation Ohio 

Comparing School Funding: 2010 vs. 2018

Click on the above link to display Ohio school districts’ funding levels from the 2010-2011 biennium, adjusted for inflation, and Governor Kasich’s proposed funding levels in the 2018-2019 biennium. It also displays the difference between the two, which – for many school districts – amounts to millions of dollars in cuts.

After four years of deep funding cuts - estimated at over$1.5 billion over four years - Ohio's local communities see little relief in the 2016-17 budget proposal. 
  • The proposal reduces - and in many cases eliminates - reimbursements from the state to communities for revenue lost after state tax reform.
  • A small portion of new revenue from increased severance taxes on oil and gas drilling is set aside for communities impacted by fracking.
  • Local transit funding remains well below prior levels and the recommendations of an ODOT analysis.
  • Sweeping tax reform proposed in the budget would affect local tax collections and services supported by sales tax levies.

The potential net gain for local communities - approximately $120 million per year - does not come close to making up for the $418 million in local funding lost each year as a result of previous state budget cuts.

Download our briefing on local impacts of the Kasich budget.

How Ohio Pulled $4 Billion+ from Communities

Editorial:  Daily Kos | February 25, 2015

Monday night Ohio Governor John Kasich delivered his state of the state speech.

He cribbed the biblical Reagan "city on a hill metaphor" to describe Ohio:

All of these things have helped Ohio move up to higher, more solid ground, and, if you look, the clouds are moving apart and the sun is beginning to shine, and we can get a glimpse of the summit ahead. We’ve got much further to go, but the success we’ve had gives us the confidence to climb higher. We’re not hopeless, we’re hopeful. We’re not wandering, we have direction. Let’s keep going.

As an Ohioan, I'd like to tell a different story.  

It's a story that appears in bits and pieces in city & school financial reports, in letters to the editor and editorials, in economic analyses, but the full story has largely hid from public sight because it's not a single sensationalist event.

It's not a story about a person or administration because you have to go back further than that to see the pattern.

You have to go back further than that to see how a state gets budgeted back to the stone age.

The pattern is simple but takes place over a long period of time: shift tax burden, create deficit, blame government, defund government, repeat.

And unfortunately, it's a story that's not just happening in Ohio, but at a national level and in many states across the nation because it's being pushed by influential corporate groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  

The story begins in 2005 ...


The Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 66 promising to improve economic conditions for Ohioans.

H.B. 66 eliminated the corporate income tax and reduced state income taxes by 21%.

Governor Taft from his 2006 state of the state speech:

At this time last year we had a tax code that was mired in the distant past, punishing investment and ignoring innovation. We worked day and night to bring that code into the 21st Century. We cut the income tax. We junked the corporate franchise tax. We scrapped the inventory and equipment tax.

The promise was jobs and growth.

Impact of H.B. 66

Who benefited from the tax cuts? According to an editorial in the Toledo Blade:

Most Ohioans got little benefit from the tax overhaul. Middle-income Ohioans receive, on average, a refund of $182 a year. The income tax cuts most benefit the wealthy — Ohio’s top 1 percent typically get $10,000 a year in state tax relief — while services that low-wage earners especially rely on get cut.

Did H.B. 66 work? Did it create jobs?

In April 2013, Policy Matters Ohio looked at the data to see how Ohio was performing versus other states.

The report is not great.

From 2005 to 2013, we’ve had a 4.4% decline and have lost 238,000 jobs. Over the same period, despite the recession, the nation managed a 1.2% increase. Ohio missed out on pre-recession growth and has been slower to recover. Overall, Ohio ranked fourth-worst in the nation.  

Zach Schiller testifying to the Ohio house in 2014:

In June 2005, income-tax rates were cut 21 percent and major business taxes were slashed. Whether one begins with the approval date, the beginning or end of the recession, or since the beginning of this administration in January 2011, the results have been the same:  The Ohio job market underperformed the nation. Since June 2005, we have lost a greater share of our jobs than all but two other states, Rhode Island and Michigan. Since January 2011, Ohio private-sector employment growth has trailed behind the country’s, at 3.97 percent compared to the U.S. increase of 6.44 percent.

Nine years after the 2005 tax cuts, we trail the rest of the nation on growth and jobs. In the recent Gallup well-being index, Ohio ranked 46th out of 50 states in 2013.

The story doesn’t end with the 2005 tax cuts though. In 2010, Ohio elected a new governor and state legislature.

The 2010-11 “Jobs Budget”

After winning election in 2010, Governor John Kasich introduced his “jobs budget”: H.B. 153. Heclaimed there was an $8 billion deficit and proposed massive cuts to local governments and schools.

The following chart shows the impact of his cuts to the Local Government Fund (LGF). The LGF funds are distributed to cities and municipalities throughout the state.

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Casino money was dangled before local communities as a way to make up the difference, but as the following chart shows, it hasn’t.

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Example: Cincinnati

Let’s look at Cincinnati to see how this impacted one of Ohio’s cities. The following table shows the cuts to the local government fund (GRF) from eliminating the estate tax and from changes to the personal property tax.

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Since 2011, the city has lost over $61 million in revenue. In the 2013 budget, the city manager of Cincinnati wrote:

If we did not have the loss of these three income sources, the City of Cincinnati’s short-term budget outlook would be very different. In fact, we could essentially be balanced without extraordinary measures.

What he meant by “extraordinary measures”:

The cumulative effect of all the permanent and one-time cuts that have been made over the past several years are still being felt. As a result service delivery and performance in many areas is slower and occurs without enough people, requiring a focused effort to keep errors to a minimum. A good example of this is the Purchasing Division in the Finance Department. In 2007, there were six employees serving as buyers to help procure services and goods under contract. In 2012, there are four, a difference of 4,176 hours of staff time lost per year in that area. Contracts for services such as street rehabilitation, demolitions, and professional services now take longer to process.  … To balance this budget exclusively with cuts would require the elimination of 344 positions.

This, after the size of city government has been cut roughly in half since the 1990s according to David Mann, Cincinnati’s vice mayor. Since 2000 alone, according to the city report Striving for Structural Balance: Assumptions and Options, full-time employees in recreation have been cut by 43%, transportation and engineering by 62%, IT solutions by nearly 75%, public services by 43%, finance by 43%, and the city manager’s office by over 40%. The cuts have impacted city pools and parks, economic development services, fire and police, traffic and parking, just about every service you can think of that government provides.

The city also sought to privatize its parking meters to bring in increased revenue, a plan that has since been shelved. Other fees will likely follow however.

Now imagine a similar scenario playing out in cities and towns across Ohio. Increased fees, increased local property taxes and decreased services. Or click here if you live in Ohio to see the effects and impacts on your county.

Changes to School Funding Since FY10-11

Similarly, schools districts faced significant cuts from 2012-2014.

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Funding was cut by $1.438 billion for the 2012-13 budget. Though some of it was restored for the 2014-15 budget, the projected total is still $607.4 million short of 2010-11 funding.

Across Ohio, teachers and programs were eliminated or reduced. Class sizes went up and school districts proposed local property tax increases to make up for the lost revenue.

Totals from 2012-2015

To summarize briefly, here’s how the Ohio government has defunded schools and communities since the 2010-11 budget:

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An Important Note about that $8 Billion Deficit

In 2010, the Kasich administration claimed that Ohio faced an $8 billion deficit crisis.

What never gets mentioned is that if there was an $8 billion deficit, it was created by the income tax cuts of 2005 and a recession.

The 2005 tax cuts reduced revenue with the assumption that the economy would grow and Ohio could bring in more money from a lower rate. However, the economy didn’t grow. It crashed. Quite simply, by 2010, the recession and the 21% cut combined to create the state deficit.  

Where Did the Money Go?

In the 2012-13 budget, Ohio paid for an estate tax cut which dropped revenues by another $333.8 million a year. The state also increased funding to charter and private schools by $567 million.

•  $333.8 million to fund the estate tax cut. (Benefits only those with estates of more than $338,333.)
•  $770 million for charter and private school vouchers

Total: $1.1 billion

Spending from the General Revenue Fund also increased from $50.5 billion to $55.6 billion over 2 years.

This is an increase of $5 billion, the second largest increase in state spending in Ohio’s history.

As Kasich’s own Budget Director Tim Keen said:

I fully realize that it’s kind of counter-intuitive that we’ve closed an $8 billion shortfall and yet spending is growing.


Some might even say there wasn't an 8 billion deficit.

In 2013, the state government claimed the cuts to schools and local governments worked. No one is talking about a deficit and suddenly the state has a surplus. So we can restore funding to schools and local governments then, right?

Nope. You can probably guess what's coming.  

•  $2.28 billion, income tax rate cuts
•  $1.09 billion, 50% tax break for small business owners up to $250 K

Total: $3.37 billion

You win the prize if you said tax cuts.

Despite evidence that income tax cuts don't grow the economy or create jobs, the solution is more tax handouts.

It looks more like pursuing an agenda of what the national chamber of commerce wants over education, public courts, police, fire, infrastructure and other programs which benefit the citizens of Ohio.

If you diagram the changes out since the 2010-11 budget, it looks like this:

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And yes, I know the numbers don’t equal each other. This is because the state is not directly taking all of the money from one place and allocating it to another. It’s more as if the money is put into a pot and then reallocated. It is interesting, however, how the money taken from schools and communities compares with the money outlays for tax changes and private schools.

In the past 2 budgets (2012-13, 2014-15), Ohio has cut over $4 billion from the public sector and increased spending on charter schools and tax changes by nearly the same amount.

Do you see the pattern?
•    Shift tax burden
•    Create deficit
•    Blame government
•    Defund government
•    Fund additional tax changes
•    Repeat

Cuts to schools and government services are being used to pay for the tax changes groups like ALEC desire.

It looks very similar to what’s happened at the national level with the sequester. Create deficit, use crisis to change tax code. Deficits or where the money will come from are rarely brought up when talking about tax changes.  

The American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC) is pushing similar changes across the country with 2013 successes in: Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin among others.

Not All Tax Changes Are Created Equal

Now I could almost buy the sales pitch that this is our money and we should get it back except for one thing.

Most people won't see any difference in their lives from the tax changes.  

Why? Because the way the tax changes work is through income tax cuts (which benefit the wealthy most) and sales and local property tax increases (which impact everyone else).

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When you look at the impact of the tax changes in Ohio, the gains mostly go to the top 4%. If you make more than $143,000 a year, you receive a $1,000 cut and if you make over $335,000 a $6,000 cut.

Everyone else sees little change as income tax cuts are canceled out by increases in the state sales tax.  

BTW, the above chart does not show the additional benefit to those with property valued over $338,333 (who no longer have to pay an estate tax) or the impact of local property tax increases as communities raise them to try to make up for lost funding.

If you were in the top 1%, you received a $10,000 yearly tax cut in 2005 and another $6,000 yearly tax cut in 2014. If you owned property worth more than $338,333, you also received an estate tax cut in 2013.

What's Next?

Where’s the jobs? Where’s the growth?

Once again, from 2005 to 2013, we’ve had a 4.4% decline and have lost 238,000 jobs. Over the same period, despite the recession, the nation managed a 1.2% increase.

Not even the logic that tax cuts create jobs make sense.

If you own a business, you hire people when you have a need or when there’s increased demand. You don’t hire people when someone hands you a check.

Now you might spend this check. That could stimulate the economy. However, if you’re going to offer a Keynesian stimulus, a better way to do it would be to put the money in the hands of people who will spend it immediately, not the top 4%.

Instead, Ohio is shifting the tax code so the wealthy pay less and everyone else pays more and defunding local governments and schools.

Any guesses what’s going to be proposed next?

I’ll give you a hint. Arthur Laffer, is making the rounds selling a 0% income tax rate, even though this goes against his own Laffer Curve from the '80s.

Who do you think this will benefit?

“Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are—a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer, as we were told.”- Ha-Joon Chang, Economist, University of Cambridge