Ohio’s House will vote on a one-week spending extension as the budget deadline is days away

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — It’s starting to look more unlikely that there will be a budget in place in time for the new fiscal year on Saturday. The Ohio House will vote on a spending extension of the current budget for a week as talks with the Senate continue.

Newly elected House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) addressees the Ohio House from a podium.
Newly elected House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) addressees the Ohio House. [Ohio Government Television]
There are hundreds of differences between the House and Senate budgets, some of them significant. Talks have been going on for a while, as Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) was hoping to get the House to concur with his chamber’s version of the budget and avoid a conference committee.

Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) said the seven-day state spending extension that will be voted on Tuesday “would just be current levels of spending so that it’s enough to keep everything. So state services will continue.”

But he isn’t giving up all hope for the budget to be approved this week.

“You know, we could pass a budget Thursday or Friday. It’s 9,200 pages or however many pages it is. But it has to be proofread. It has to be printed out. It has to be signed,” Stephens said.

The House passed an $88 billion budget in April. The Senate budget totals about $86 billion. That’s counting general revenue funds only; both budgets include one-time federal American Rescue Plan money that boosts the totals.

The differences between the budgets are evident in the votes they received in their respective chambers. The House budget passed with widespread bipartisan support, and the Senate budget got only Republican votes.

The House budget has more money for public education and social services. The Senate budget has a larger income tax cut and private school vouchers for nearly all Ohio families.

A statement from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine indicates he clearly prefers to have a full budget by the deadline and not a continuing interim budget. H

“I have full confidence in the General Assembly’s ability get this budget passed by the Constitutionally prescribed deadline of June 30th. The legislative parties need to return to the bargaining table and keep working,” DeWine said in a statement.

If it’s late, it will mean two of the last three budgets have missed the deadline. The first budget submitted to DeWine in 2019 was signed on July 18.