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Ohio House, Senate approve 2022 & 2023 budget; moves to DeWine's desk for signature

The budget bill includes how schools will be funded, broadband internet access, Vax-a-Million data and other additions to the bill.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Senate and the House both voted to approve the 2022 and 2023 budget by a vote of 82-13 after several additions and decisions were made on Monday.

One of the changes of the $75 billion spending bill includes restoring a bipartisan plan on how the state will fund its schools.

Legislators adopted the House's Fair School Funding proposal, which was heavily favored by educators and education advocates.

The plan would invest $2 billion over the course of six years. The budget only covers the first two years of the plan.

In addition, the budget includes $250 million to expand broadband internet for the state. The first year will see $220 million and $30 million in the second year.

Legislators also settled on a 3% income tax cut across the board. According to the House, the tax reform plan reduces the number of tax brackets from five to four and eliminates income tax for anyone who makes less than $25,000 a year.

The budget bill also includes that data from the Vax-a-Million, the state's lottery incentive to get Ohioans vaccinated, will not be made public.

Plus, alcohol-to-go can continue to be sold, as long as the drinks are the same ones on the restaurant's menu.

The initiative was first started last year when the pandemic was hitting restaurants hard and the state allowed businesses to sell cocktails to go as a way for them to regain some of their revenue.

Juneteenth was also added as a state holiday, which celebrates June 19, 1865, when the Union soldiers told enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas they were free. The news was about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern States.

Juneteenth was also added as a federal holiday earlier this month by President Joe Biden.

Now that the Senate and House have agreed to the budget bill, it now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine's desk to become law. DeWine does have the option to veto certain portions of the bill if he chooses.

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