Ohio’s FY 22-23 Biennial Budget – Raise Your Voice for Children!
June 11, 2021
This is a busy time of year and the biennial budget process is full steam ahead. In this next week, on June 15, the Conference Committee will meet to determine which version of the Governor, House, or Senate budget bills will be included the final version for enactment. With so many critical issues for children and families on the line, it’s absolutely necessary that we all do our part and make our voices heard.
Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to share some of CDF-Ohio’s priorities with partners and we have also crafted an advocacy toolkit that you can use. We ask that you join us in our work to create a bold and courageous vision for Ohio – one where all children have their basic needs met, are loved, cared for, and treated with dignity and respect. Consider the following issues:
- All Children Deserve Fair School Funding: The House version of the budget included the “Fair School Funding Plan”, which has been developed over the past several years with a broad coalition of educators, school leaders, community input, etc. This robust school funding plan is widely supported and based on best practices, actual costs, and what’s best for a child’s educational experience. This plan is preferred over the Senate plan.
- Support Broadband for All Ohioans: Access to health, economic, and educational opportunity requires access to broadband. However, the Senate removed critical funding for broadband infrastructure that was included in the House version of the budget ($190M). Note: Ohio has a $2.3B problem with broadband and over 1 million Ohioans lacking access. The $190M represented an important down payment in building out this infrastructure and must be restored for the sake of our children and families.
- Support Children’s Health and Wellbeing: The Senate version of the budget includes an important provision that would extend post-partum insurance coverage through Medicaid to new parents. However, we’re disappointed to see the Governor’s proposed expansion of evidence-based home visiting for parents and their children eliminated from the Senate version. The Governor’s proposal would expand evidenced-based home visiting to children aged five and would also increase the frequency of nurse visits.
- All Children Deserve Quality Child Care: I am concerned about the Senates’ decision to eliminate Step Up to Quality (SUTQ), Ohio’s 5-star Quality Rating and Improvement System. Eliminating Step Up to Quality is a direct assault on children, families, childcare providers and professionals, philanthropies, businesses, communities, and Ohio taxpayers who have invested millions of dollars in this evidence-based approach.
- Prioritize Investments in Children and Families. The Senate and the House each provided for an income tax cut, 2% and 5% respectively. However, these tax reductions are symbolic at best and do nothing to benefit struggling Ohioans. The Senate’s proposed 5% income tax reduction will cost $854M. These funds are best used to support desperately needed public services such as child care quality, broadband infrastructure, Fair School Funding, etc.