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Ohio House-passed budget summary

Columbus, May 1, 2007 (AP): Here are highlights of the state budget proposal approved unanimously Tuesday by the Ohio House. The $52.1 billion plan would pay for state operations for two years beginning July 1, 2007:

• Restores school voucher program eliminated by Governor Strickland.
• Lifts proposed moratorium on new charter schools, but exposes them to new fiscal accountability standards.
• Provides an additional $75.6 million for early childhood education.
• Earmarks $10 million each year to create academies focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
• Restores $15 million a year in state and federal funding to children's hospitals.
• Extends Medicaid benefits to children whose families earn three times the poverty level, $61,950 a year for a family of four.
• Restores $500,000 a year for abstinence-only education.

• Creates $100 million Choose Ohio First scholarship program for residents who attend
Ohio colleges and universities, with emphasis on STEM study
• Increases basis instructional aid to higher education 2 percent in 2008 and 10 percent in 2009.
• Caps tuition growth at 3 percent in 2008 and freezes tuitions statewide in 2009.
• Raises income eligibility threshold for Ohio Student Choice grants from $45,000 to $95,000.

• Creates a new health care pool for public school employees.
• Restores work requirements eliminated by the governor for those receiving Ohio Works First money.

• Retains a property tax exemption to seniors as proposed by the governor on the first $25,000 of their home.
• Provides an additional $500,000 for Alzheimer's respite care.
• Provides an additional 5,600 slots in the PASSPORT program that provides alternatives to nursing homes, and raises state subsidies to PASSPORT providers 3 percent.

• Approves budget for the Ohio Commission of Hispanic/Latino Affairs, as outlined at
2007 to 2008 Ohio budget for OCHLA (PDF)






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