DeWine vetoes 44 items in Ohio's two-year state budget
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed 44 items when he signed the two year, $86 billion state budget after midnight on Independence Day.
He vetoed the attempt to ban cities from outlawing flavored tobacco and a ban on universities requiring certain vaccines. DeWine also issued vetoes related to tax policy, but some were a bigger deal than others.
DeWine praised the budget as historic, citing money for nursing homes aligned with incentives to improve care, funding for the "science of reading" program that's in place in 31 other states, more money for behavioral health and low-income state tax credits toward more affordable housing. He noted the budget also creates the Ohio Department of Children and Youth, puts $300 million toward career-tech facilities and establishes a merit scholarship for the top 5% of every Ohio high school graduating class.
DeWine also struck extending the August sales tax holiday to as long as two weeks depending on how much surplus money was available.Lawmakers had also wanted to expand to include anything up to $500. DeWine said the $750 million estimated cost is uncertain, so he wants to study that more carefully.
"We don't know how many Ohioans would take advantage of that. We don't know how many Ohioans would not spend money for a while, and then decide they want to go put all in that in that period of time," DeWine said. “We don't want to get in a situation where the numbers just don't come out at all and what's supposed to cost $750 million ends up costing who knows what."
DeWine also issued vetoes related to the income tax cut, which will happen as Ohio’s four tax brackets are reduced to two, and on some specific lines about an exemption in the state’s main business tax. But DeWine said those were technical and targeted vetoes, and not full vetoes of those provisions.
DeWine had wanted a $2,500 increase in the child tax deduction, which lawmakers removed from his budget. But he said an income tax cut will help working families.
“That was a continuation of the policy to, every couple of years, try to continue to collapse those and move toward maybe a single figure on the tax. So I don't think that should have surprised anybody," DeWine said.
The income tax cut is still in the budget, as is the exemption that means 90% of businesses won’t pay the state’s main business tax two years from now.
Another veto described as technical relates to certification for doulas. Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran said it deals with the regulatory framework that needs to be set up so the state can expand Medicaid coverage for doulas. Experts have said doulas can help lower maternal and infant mortality rates, especially among women of color.