‘Historic’ education changes inside budget as Senate votes

‘Historic’ education changes inside budget as Senate votes
  • Budget will lay out how Ohio spends $173 billion in next 2 years.
  • Plan to give governor control of K-12 added to budget plan.
  • Senate budget would prohibit mandatory diversity training, restrict strikes on college campuses.
  • Plan would ban the sale or distribution of flavored vaping products except menthol.
  • Senate budget plan would require state employees to work from their offices four days per week

Senate Republicans passed a “transformational” state budget Thursday over objections of Democrats who said they couldn’t overlook Republican plans to combat perceived liberal bias on Ohio’s college campuses, reduce increases for subsidized childcare and make all students eligible for school vouchers.

The budget, which lays out how Ohio will spend about $173 billion over the next two fiscal years, passed 24-7. Every Democrat voted no, and two Republicans were absent. That’s a big difference from what happened in the Ohio House in April. Nearly all that chamber’s Democrats voted for that version of the state spending plan.

Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, told reporters he decided to go in a more conservative, policy-driven direction centered around tax cuts and education reforms.