A new, $56 billion budget, which contained massive policy changes for the state, was signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich just moments before the midnight deadline June 30, The Associated Press reports.
According to the news source, the bill, at 3,262 pages, privatizes several state prisons, reworks plans for Medicaid, does not allow public hospitals to perform abortions and will eliminate Ohio’s estate tax by 2013. Also included was a push to tie teacher’s pay more closely to student achievement.
“This is the one they said couldn’t be done,” the Republican Governor said of the bill, Fox reported. “We promised Ohioans a new way and a new day, and we’re delivering.”
When Kasich took office in Januray, the first-term Republican inherited an estimated $8 billion budget shortfall, but improved state revenues have since closed that gap, putting it closer to $6 billion, the media outlet stated.
Kasich also signed into effect many other measures, such as a bill that will allow gun owners to carry concealed firearms into bars and another that allows oil and gas drilling to take place at state parks and other lands.
According to The Associated Press, Kasich said that the bill is the “most reform-oriented budget in Ohio history.”