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Ohio News

Senate Finalizes Veto Overrides For Medicaid Spending, Controlling Board Authority

Ohio Senate holds votes to override vetoes Gov. John Kasich made in the budget bill.
Ohio Senate holds votes to override vetoes Gov. John Kasich made in the budget bill.

For the first time in four decades the state Legislature has gone over the governor’s head to implement policy in the budget without his approval. 

The votes in the Republican-controlled Senate mostly dealt with Medicaid spending and control of those dollars.

Two veto overrides ultimately restrict power and spending authority for the controlling board. That’s a small legislative panel led by a member of the governor’s administration, and the panel he went through to expand Medicaid in 2013.

Republican Senate President Larry Obhof said overriding these vetoes helps restore legislative oversight.

“The administrative state has taken on what were traditionally or what should be responsibility of the Legislature and we are starting to take some of those back.”

But Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko believes this might tip the scales of power too far in favor of the Legislature where he’s seeing a building trend against health care services.

“It’s a constant attack on our Medicaid system.”

But Democrats were on board with other overrides, including rejecting vetoes on provisions to increase funding for nursing homes and neonatal services through Medicaid.

A big issue still on the table is the managed care organizations tax which has been used in the past to provide millions of dollars for local transit systems. Since that tax faded out, the Legislature created a franchise fee to restore revenue. Kasich vetoed that language, but the Senate says interested parties are meeting and a resolution could be hashed out without the need for another veto override.

Obhof’s provision to freeze Medicaid expansion enrollment was also vetoed however the House would still need to hold an override vote before it could make its way to the Senate.

Copyright 2017 The Statehouse News Bureau