With just two days to go before the budget is required to be signed by the governor, state lawmakers will cast their votes on it today. And there's a controversial provision that stayed in after all day negotiations with the conference committee.
“With four affirmative votes, two negative votes, Amended Substitute House Bill 49 is favorably reported.” And with that announcement from Conference Committee chair Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), the budget passed on a party line vote. The budget includes a freeze on enrollments in Medicaid expansion next year. Gov. John Kasich’s Office of Health Transformation says up to half a million people could lose coverage. He’s touted Medicaid expansion as a tool to fight the opioid crisis, and though there’s an exemption for the mentally ill and drug addicted, that provision is considered a likely veto target. The budget had to be trimmed because of a projected billion dollar shortfall. And the budget also includes new options for graduation for the class of 2018 and a sales tax holiday in August.