COLUMBUS, Ohio – The following statement may be attributed in full or in part to state Rep. Michael Stinziano, D-Columbus, in connection with the House passage of HB 59, the state biennial budget:
“The budget bill adopted by the House of Representatives hurts Ohio communities, and lower and middle class Ohioans, which is why I voted no. In addition, this budget contains a TAX INCREASE on all Ohioans which is no way to grow our economy as we continue to recover from the recent financial collapse.
There can be no doubt that one of the biggest failures surrounding the budget was the decision not to expand Medicaid. Despite many attempts to offer common-sense amendments to reinsert Medicaid expansion language into the budget, extremist opposition to this critical component of health-care reform continues our failure to not adopt this policy. Medicaid expansion would have reduced the number of uninsured Ohioans and cut back on emergency room visits as a primary source of medical care.
This budget continues the attacks on women’s rights by attempting to defund Planned Parenthood and by prohibiting hospitals from maintaining emergency transfer agreements with health care providers that focus on family planning. I believe that these proposals only deny women and their family’s access to quality, affordable preventive healthcare services.Healthcare isn’t the only area suffering budget cuts over the next two years. Our schools will see more than $200 million cut under the school-funding plan in this bill. These cuts were made while tax breaks that benefit the wealthy and big businesses were cemented in to Ohio law. My Democratic colleagues proposed a full restoration of funding for our public schools, but the House majority rejected it. House Democrats also proposed a targeted middle class tax cut that would have helped put more money in the pockets of average Ohioans, but that too was rejected by the majority. I believe that by continuing to cut education we are short-changing our future, limiting our long-term economic growth and forcing downward pressure on local property taxpayers.”