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Ohio House committee passes $71.5 billion budget, with changes

House Republicans boosted school funding and added another series of amendments before passing a two-year, $71.5 billion budget out of the finance committee Monday.

The Republicans added $1.25 million so the secretary of state can keep mailing out absentee ballot applications. And another amendment gets rid of language that would’ve stopped the state auditor from performing public records audits.

More than 93 school districts were in danger of losing money when implementing the new funding formula and the cut to the reimbursement program known as the Tangible Personal Property tax or TPP.

Republican Representative Ryan Smith of Gallipolis, who chairs the finance committee, says the House added more $100 million to prevent those schools from losing money.

“I think it was probably the best thing we could do to continue the TPP phase out but mute the effect of it—the negative effect,” Smith said. “Because we put a lot of money into the school formula so that helped a lot but it didn’t help enough to make sure everyone was held harmless.”

The House is expected to hold a full chamber vote on the budget later this week.