Ohio House passes $2.62 billion capital spending plan

Ohio House passes $2.62 billion capital spending plan

The bill includes $600 million for K-12 schools, $438 million for higher education, and $222 million for health initiatives such as women’s health, mental health and drug treatment beds.

It carves out $148 million for community projects across the state, such as $1-million for the Dayton Arcade, $750,000 for the Dayton Art Institute and $550,000 for the Ohio Aviation Hall of Fame.

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent, who is running for Secretary of State, unsuccessfully tried to add $118 million to the bill to pay for new voting machines.

The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate where testimony on identical legislation is already underway.

Related: Fighting opioid crisis, school construction focus of Ohio’s $2.6B capital budget

Lawmakers delayed a vote on state Rep. Jim Butler’s plan to offer a monetary prize as incentive for finding cures for major diseases. The Oakwood Republican wants to start a multi-state compact that would pool cash to be awarded to scientists or inventors who discover and deploy cures.

Related: Local lawmaker wants to offer prize money for those who cure diseases

Butler believes that giving out prize money would eventually save states because it would lead to lower health care costs born by the government.

The Ohio House also voted 93-0 for a child support reform bill that would update economic data used to calculate support orders, change how child care costs and health insurance are considered and recognize shared parenting practices.

The Ohio Senate backed the same bill, sponsored by Tipp City Republican Bill Beagle, on Feb. 28.

Related: Poor collection rates plague child support system in Ohio

Related: Child support bill clears Ohio Senate

The system is rife with problems, including $4.5 billion in unpaid child support going back to 1976 and an outdated formula that some think drives non-custodial parents into the underground economy to avoid wage garnishments. Most of the debt — nearly 70 percent — is owed by parents who make less than $10,000 a year, child support enforcement officials say.

State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, called it “long overdue legislation.”