Today, the Ohio House Finance Committee unveiled and accepted an omnibus amendment to make additional changes to H.B. 64, the 2016-2017 State Budget bill. The omnibus included 78 individual amendments, including language to ensure that all school districts are held harmless as a result of the tangible personal property (TPP) and kilowatt-hour (KwH) reimbursement phase-out. The bill also provides $1.25 million for the Secretary of State to mail absentee ballot applications to all Ohio voters in FY ’16 and removes a proposal that would have prohibited the Auditor of State from conducting public records audits.
The omnibus amendment also makes several changes to higher education issues, including the removal of language that would have exempted full-time professors from collective bargaining. The amendment will also allow universities to increase their tuition by 2 percent or $200, and for community colleges and regional campuses to increase tuition by 2 percent or $100.
Other changes include the removal of language that would have allowed for the privatization of county jails, and an increase to the Education Program Support line item, with an earmark of $1.5 million per year for Teach for America.
A description of the omnibus amendment can be found here. Please check back for more updates throughout the State Budget Process.