State Rep. Michael Stinziano Votes Against GOP's Extreme Anti-Middle Class Budget

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The following may be attributed in whole or in part to state Rep. Michael Stinziano about his “No” vote on House Bill 59, the biennial state budget:

Budgets come down to choices. As state lawmakers, we can choose policies that move all Ohioans forward or we can choose policies that help a select few and put even more of a burden onto struggling communities, schools, individuals and families.

I believe the two-year budget plan approved by the Ohio House today is a giant step in the wrong direction, which is why I voted “No.”

Many provisions in the budget lead me to believe that the plan doesn’t do enough to overcome the problems that face most Ohioans today, nor move us forward.

Ohioans deserve better. Our citizens deserve an alternative that provides for targeted tax cuts for middle and working-class families. I'm encouraged by the work that is being done to expand health care to those that need it but more work needs to be done.

Also, I’m extremely troubled by a provision in the budget that specifies that any student who receives a utility bill issued by a state university to be used as proof of residency for voting purposes must be given in-state tuition. This idea is poorly conceived, extremely misguided and results in a Blackwellian administration of Ohio’s election laws.

As a former director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, I’m concerned that this provision will have a chilling effect on colleges providing these documents for students who want to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to vote. Also, the provision could violate federal election laws.

Proponents of this radical provision should do more to enhance our elections system instead of trying to score cheap political points. Ohioans deserve better.