Ohio Senate Republicans unveiled a budget plan on May 28 that would keep social issues at the forefront and refocus tax reforms on small businesses instead of all Ohioans.
The conservative push on social issues echoes priorities established in the Ohio House budget bill, which passed on April 18.
But the plan comes with a new addition: It would give the director of the Ohio Department of Health the power to close ambulatory surgical centers without cause, which could be “a thinly veiled tool to close abortion clinics and effectively outlaw abortion across the state,” according to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
The other Ohio Senate measures are drawn from the Ohio House budget bill, including a rework of family services funding that prioritizes other programs over Planned Parenthood, leading to less funds for the controversial women’s health program.
The Ohio Senate budget plan would also shift a separate set of funds to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which essentially act as the anti-abortion alternative to family planning institutions like Planned Parenthood.
The plan would also cut income taxes by 50 percent for businesses owners while undoing a 7-percent across-the-board income tax cut for all Ohioans.
Republicans say the tax cuts will spur the state’s economy, but Democrats argue the tax cuts will exclude a majority of Ohioans, particularly low- and middle-income earners.
The small business tax cut was originally proposed by Gov. John Kasich alongside a 20-percent across-the-board tax cut for all Ohioans, but the Ohio House undid both suggestions in its own budget plan in favor of a 7-percent across-the-board income tax cut.
If the budget plan is approved by the Ohio Senate, it will head to the Ohio House and Kasich for final approval.