A package of tax cuts backed by Governor John Kasich is headed to the Republican's desk after it cleared the Ohio Legislature last night. The tax cuts were part of a slew of policy changes made in a midterm budget bill.
Kasich is expected to sign the bill although he could use his line-item veto as well. Final passage came after lawmakers sought to ensure additional legislative control over $300 million set aside in the budget measure for a Medicaid reserve fund. The fund covers unexpected expenses for the taxpayer-funded health program. The sweeping budget bill passed on mostly party-line votes. It contains an agreement over how to spend certain funding for mental health and addiction treatment services. Another provision would create an evaluation system for caseworkers at county Job and Family Services departments. The bill's tax package supported by Kasich includes a plan to double Ohio's earned income tax credit from 5 percent to 10 percent for low-income taxpayers and increase personal income-tax exemptions for residents making under $80,000 a year.