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Baldridge votes for House budget bill

COLUMBUS — The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 110, the House’s version of Ohio’s two-year budget plan, on Wednesday.

State Rep. Brian Baldridge, R-90, whose district covers part of Lawrence County, was a “yes” vote on the bill.

His office said that, among various aspects, the legislation creates a fair school funding plan, supports law enforcement and firefighters and provides a two percent income tax cut.

“I was proud to vote in support of House Bill 110 today,” Baldridge in a news release. “There are several provisions in the complex bill that will better southern Ohio through funds for local programs and COVID-19 relief grants. This budget bill benefits individuals and businesses alike throughout the state.”

House Bill 110 provides a two percent income tax cut across the board, saving Ohio tax payers approximately $380 over the biennium. The bill also establishes greater government oversight and accountability to ensure that state resources are being spent reasonably and used in a manner consistent with the intent of the General Assembly.

The bill supports law enforcement, firefighters and public safety by funding a series of initiatives to support them, including the following:

• $26 million for Recovery Ohio Law Enforcement to support anti-narcotics efforts
• $24 million for safety grants for schools
• $15 million for a one-year police training pilot program to assist law enforcement agencies with training costs
• $10 million for grants to small fire departments for equipment and training
• $10 million for grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to implement or enhance body-worn camera programs

Additionally, the legislation appropriates $155 million in grants for industries negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including newly-formed businesses. Grants from this funding will be available in the fiscal year, beginning July 1. The grants include the following:

• $100 million for bars and restaurants
• $25 million for the lodging industry
• $20 million for indoor and outdoor entertainment venues
• $10 million for new businesses

The above are highlights of the bill. More information on House Bill 110 can be found at https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA134-HB-110.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.