First they decide not to back Governor Kasich’s income tax cut proposal despite the fact that it will put an additional $500 million back into taxpayers and small businesses hands. I understand their concern with keeping Ohio competitive, but even with Kasich’s proposal in place our severance taxes would maintain Ohio’s advantage over other states.
Bytor goes into more detail here but it’s important to recognize that this is a reasonable request by the Governor that should be enacted by the legislature. If you need more convincing just check with the Columbus Chamber and Columbus Partnership, both have encouraged the legislature to support this plan.
Next they insert very vague language into the MBR designed to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Again, good intentions for the pro-life crowd but this language was so poorly worded that it could have potentially restricted a massive amount of funding to hospitals and welfare centers that provide services to the poor.
Thankfully they realized how poor this language was and pulled it yesterday before a vote was held. However, that still gave plenty of political ammunition for Democrats to repeatedly beat Republicans over the head with. All we did with this effort was give Democrats another talking point to use against us in the fall.
Now some are suggesting that we spend the surplus that they, and Governor Kasich, have worked so hard to build. Throwing another $30 million to nursing homes is exactly the type of thinking that got us into an $8 billion hole in the first place.
Fortunately, Governor Kasich recognizes this and has already said no to additional spending. In remarks yesterday to the Toledo Regional Chamber, Kasich said: “I want to let you all know, they can pass whatever they want to in the legislature, we’re not spending the surplus.” “We’re not going back to $8 billion in the hole.”
House Republicans have a lot to be proud of; they have fixed the deficit and helped create jobs across Ohio. With their support, Ohio has turned a corner and is back on track.
As I said before, I know that their intentions are good but I think it's possible we've lost sight of the big picture lately. I hope they will move away from ill-advised legislation and ideas and get back to what has been working, creating jobs.