Highland County still faces $800,000 hit after senate fails to override Kasich veto


Staff and wire reports



The Ohio Senate has overridden six of Republican Gov. John Kasich’s budget vetoes, but senators delayed action Tuesday on five House-approved veto overrides, perhaps indefinitely.

One would have restored a tax increase on health insurers aimed at helping counties and regional bus services. Locally, the loss from the Medicaid-funded MCOs is estimated at $807,000 for Highland County.

When Kasich issued his veto last month, Highland County Commissioner Shane Wilkin said, “The governor’s veto is extremely disappointing, especially considering our budget is already stressed. Covering the state shortfall with a fee while not addressing local governments’ loss will most likely require additional budget cuts.”

Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley said Tuesday the failure of the senate to override the veto would likely be a top discussion topic at Wednesday’s weekly commissioner meeting.

Lawmakers proposed the idea to offset losses from the sales tax on Medicaid-managed care organizations that’s being discontinued by the federal government. Kasich’s administration contended the $207 million tax increase risked Ohio losing even more money and would create a $615 million loss for Medicaid.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist warned senators that his Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform would be “educating” constituents on any vote. He sent a similar letter last month to members of the Ohio House, who voted to override the veto anyway.

Senators voted Tuesday to restore budget provisions giving legislators additional control over future Medicaid spending and imposing additional requirements on some program recipients.

They weren’t able to take up Kasich’s veto protecting Ohio’s Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act, because the House didn’t act on it.

Staff and wire reports