In three days the House GOP majority will introduce the latest version of the 2012-13 budget. A substitute bill will be introduced in the House Finance Committee Thursday and we can expect to see some changes.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that at least one amendment will be introduced to deal with the deep cuts in state funding to school districts already reliant on local property taxes.
Battered by angry crowds at suburban school district meetings in recent days, House Republican lawmakers will offer up changes Thursday limiting the budgetary pain inflicted on schools by Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal.
House Finance Chair Ron Amstutz said many changes to the $120 billion, all-funds budget proposed by Kasich are coming, including tweaks to a controversial blueprint for funding schools over the next two years authored by the Republican governor.
“We are looking to take the edge off of this problem across the spectrum of school districts — not just for the upper” property wealth districts, said Amstutz, a Wooster Republican shepherding the budget through the GOP-controlled House. “But we are concerned about the districts getting high percentage cuts.”
Taxpayers from those districts, many in traditional Republican territory, are also concerned — and downright angry. Hundreds of them have been giving GOP lawmakers an earful at recent community meetings.
While the lawmakers in the majority party have supported most of their governor’s agenda, can they overlook constituents who have demanded to know where their tax dollars have gone?
As the House prepares to put its stamp on Kasich’s school-funding proposal this week, members do so with the full knowledge that how they handle education funding may have ramifications when they come up for re-election next year.