Midterm Ohio Budget Heads To Governor’s Desk

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A wide-ranging midterm budget bill that includes startup costs related to Ohio's upcoming regulations for exotic animals is on its way to Gov. John Kasich's desk.

The bill includes $42 million for the Clean Ohio fund that preserves farmland and green spaces and another $3 million for a Lake Erie protection program.

The measure also includes $15 million for cleaning up abandoned factory sites and $13 million to fund Kasich's third grade reading guarantee.

The bill, which trims overall state spending by $13.5 million, comes halfway between the state's normal budgeting cycles.

The $500,000 for exotic animal regulation and registration follows passage of a historic crackdown on ownership of such animals in Ohio that was spurred by a suicidal owner's release of dozens of wild creatures last year.