Ohio governor calls GOP debate on budget 'healthy'

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's governor is brushing off suggestions that policies in his two-year state budget proposal are fracturing his Republican Party.

Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) told reporters Wednesday evening that he views it as "a nice, honest, healthy debate over big ideas."

Kasich's budget incorporates a significant rewrite of Ohio's tax code that delivers $1.4 billion in tax cuts over three years. But the revisions also would impose sales taxes on professional services — including lawyers, lobbyists and accountants — which could see pushback from Republicans who control the Legislature.

Kasich's spending plan also includes an expansion of Medicaid. Ohio's state treasurer on Monday encouraged his fellow Republicans in the Legislature to reject the expansion.

The governor says Medicaid is complicated, and he didn't make much of Treasurer Josh Mandel's (man-DEHLS') letter.

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