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Senate Passes Budget Bill Along Party Lines, Now Heads to Conference Committee

As expected, the Republican dominated Senate passed its budget in a marathon seven hour session. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, minority Democrats did all they could to get their concerns heard before Republicans passed the bill.

The Senate budget boosts money to K-12 education and replaces a 7 percent across the board income tax cut in the House budget with a 50 percent tax cut to small businesses. Democrats proposed amendments to block some abortion-related provisions, to expand Medicaid and to send more money to local governments and food banks. Senator Nina Turner of Cleveland was disappointed that they were all rejected.

“We could have done better, but we chose not to,” says Turner.

After a party line vote, the budget now heads to a conference committee. Senate President Keith Faber of Celina said he’s hopeful on the tax cut issue.

“I would like to see us being able to do both an across the board income tax or maybe some alterations in the income tax structure along with the small business tax cut,” says Faber.

The budget needs to be signed by July 1.