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State Budget Goes To Conference Committee After Senate Approval

Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
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Ohio Statehouse

Senators have passed their version of the two year state budget. The $71.3 billion spending plan now goes to a conference committee to work out differences with the House version.

The sweeping proposal would increase Ohio's tobacco taxes, boost higher-education funding and eliminate state taxes for certain small business income.

State Sen. Cecil Thomas of Cincinnati said he couldn’t support the continued shift toward sales taxes and away from income taxes, but also “we’re capable of investing our tax dollars more equitably to support the future of our children and the service and infrastructure relied on by all Ohioans.”

Republican Senate President Keith Faber said the budget isn’t perfect, but he said it’s pretty good.

“If you don’t stop and look around at all the good things in this budget, you just might miss it,” Faber said.

Ohio's budget director and legislative analysts are planning to update state lawmakers on the latest revenue and Medicaid projections as compromise talks begin on the state's spending blueprint.

A group of negotiators from the House and Senate plan to hash out the key sticking points on Friday.

The so-called conference committee will review the size of income tax cuts, state funding for public schools and a host of other areas on which the House, Senate and Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) disagree.

The budget must be signed by June 30.