Senators on Wednesday signed off on the capital appropriations bill, sending it to Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
The $2.63 billion spending measure HB 529 received no changes since its introduction last month. It doubles past financial commitments for behavioral and mental health infrastructure and prioritizes projects addressing the opioid epidemic, according to sponsors.
It also includes $600 million for school facilities, $514 million for local infrastructure projects, $483 million for public colleges and universities and $150 million in community projects.
An additional $222 million is allocated for health and human services, developmental disabilities, mental health, addiction treatment and women’s health initiative facilities over the next two years.
Sen. Scott Oelslager (R-N. Canton) said the measure “provides a strong major investment in our schools, our community and our economy.”
He highlighted that $2.22 billion of the funding is supported by General Revenue Fund-backed debt obligations, with the remainder supported by non-GRF-backed bonds and cash funds. The bill also includes reappropriations for unfinished, previously authorized projects.
“Consistent with the legislature’s focus on strategic spending and pro-economic growth, HB529 represents a manageable and affordable legislation that remains within our current and future budget capacity,” he added. “More importantly, this bill keeps Ohio well under the constitutional 5% limitation on debt service as a percent of revenue.”
The budget passed 32-1 with Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) objecting. It passed the House earlier this month in a similar near-unanimous (90-2) vote.