Governor Signs Budget With Pro-Life Provisions

Last week, we sent an email regarding the key pro-life provisions that were introduced by Republicans to be included in the state budget. We are happy to announce that Governor Kasich has signed the state budget with the pro-life provisions intact.

Planned Parenthood, the Nation’s largest abortion chain, will lose $1.4 million in federal funds. The new budget will also provide funding for Crisis Pregnancy Centers which educate women in the alternatives to abortion.

We thank Governor Kasich for taking this step to protect Ohio’s women and unborn children.

Phil Burress

By  Jim Siegel

The Columbus Dispatch – Monday July 1, 2013 6:50 AM

Gov. John Kasich last night vetoed language attempting to block him from moving forward with Medicaid expansion, but did not touch any of the anti-abortion language before signing the new two-year, $62 billion state budget.

The budget takes effect today, the first day of the new fiscal year.

In all, Kasich vetoed 22 items, including some earmarks. However, Ohio State University’s STAR House, which helps homeless youth, kept its $665,000 per year in funding.

Significant abortion provisions in the budget were not changed. The bill essentially cuts off Planned Parenthood from about $1.4 million in federal family-planning dollars by re-prioritizing who can receive the money.

Under the bill, abortion clinics must have a transfer agreement with a hospital, but they are prohibited from signing one with a public hospital. The bill also requires a doctor to perform an external ultrasound prior to an abortion to search for a heartbeat, and if one is found, the doctor must inform the woman. The doctor also must tell the woman the likelihood of the fetus surviving to a full term, and the bill redefines a fetus as “developing from the moment of conception,” rather than when a fertilized egg has been implanted in the uterus.

The bill also provides funding for crisis pregnancy centers, which supporters say offer women important alternatives to abortion, but critics argue they provide medically inaccurate information.

“It took great compassion and courage for our governor and pro-life legislature to stand up to the abortion industry that blatantly pressured them,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life.

Kasich said deleting the Medicaid language gives him “maximum flexibility” as discussions continue.

The budget does not include Kasich’s proposal to expand Medicaid to cover another 275,000 low-income Ohioans and bring $13 billion in federal funding to the state over the next seven years. Legislative talks on how to expand and reform Medicaid will continue through the summer and could be acted on in September.

Kasich has the authority to authorize an expansion but cannot pay for it without legislative approval.

Among the other proposals that Kasich vetoed:

• Exempting spider monkeys from requirements in Ohio’s new dangerous wild animal law. Kasich called it an “unjustified step backward.”

• $60 million bonus payments for nursing homes that met more than the required number of quality-care standards. He has blocked this in the past.

• An attempt to collect internet sales tax on transactions between out-of-state retailers and Ohioans. He questioned the legality.

• A mandate on how schools spend gifted-education money.

• A sales-tax exemption for aerospace research. He has blocked this before.

• Allowing chiropractors to join doctors in clearing young athletes to return to action after a concussion.

• A restriction on municipalities’ ability to use buffer zones around waterways.

• Expansions of the new markets and historic rehabilitation tax credits, and a gold coin sales-tax exemption.

• Allowing natural gas companies to recover cleanup costs. This provision was not drafted correctly.

The budget includes a $2.7 billion tax cut over three years via an income-tax cut that starts at 8.5 percent this year and phases in to 10 percent in 2015, plus a 50 percent tax deduction for business owners on up to $250,000 of income. It increases the sales tax by a quarter percentage point, eliminates on new levies the 12.5 percent paid by the state on property taxes, and eliminates the homestead exemption for seniors earning more than $30,000 who have not reached age 65 by the end of the year.

 “I’m proud of these tax cuts because we think this is another installment in Ohio’s comeback,” Kasich said.