Catholic Conference of Ohio
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Catholic Conference Advocates on the State Budget Bill

Senate school choice provisions especially helpful to Catholic school students and families.

In a letter sent to public officials regarding the state budget bill, HB 110, the Catholic Conference of Ohio offered areas of support and concern. It states:

"Thank you for your careful consideration of this important legislation. We appreciate how each version of this bill built upon the excellent frameworks of the others. Overall, we find the versions before you to be child-friendly and family-friendly. We especially appreciate the additions in the Senate that enhance care for both the unborn and newly born, provide further conscience protections, and incorporate school choice provisions within the broader framework of school funding reforms. 

We offer several recommendations to the Conference Committee..."

Ohio Senate Unveils Their Version of State Budget

Provides Unprecedented Support for Catholic Students and Parents

The Ohio Senate unveiled their version of the State Budget (HB 110). It builds upon the Governor's and House proposals that promote children, families and persons in need. The Senate added additional provisions that further promotes school choice.  The Conference commends such additions and especially recognizes the excellent leadership that Senate President, Matt Huffman, provided in this area. 

Highlights in the Education line items include:

  • Increases max scholarship awards for students receiving an Ed Choice or Cleveland Scholarship to $5,500 (grades K-8) and $7,500 (grades 9-12);
  • Extends eligibility for traditional EdChoice scholarships, including provisions for siblings, foster children and incoming 9th graders; gradually phases out the requirement for a student first to be enrolled in a public school;
  • Provides helpful improvements to the EdChoice scholarship eligibility, notification, funding and administrative procedures;
  • Directly funds 100% of the scholarship cost for students who receive EdChoice, Cleveland, Autism, or Jon Peterson scholarships, rather than funding these students in their districts of residence and then deducting funds to pay for the students at their schools of choice;
  • Extends eligibility for Cleveland scholarships to K-8 nonpublic schools located within 5 miles of the Cleveland School District;
  • Allows a nonpublic school that elects to receive Auxiliary Services directly to designate an organization (e.g., a diocese) to receive the funds on its behalf;
  • Removes the statutory per-pupil cap on Administrative Cost Reimbursement;
  • Eliminates the requirement that an early childhood education program meet the 3rd highest tier of Step Up to Quality in order to qualify for state funding;
  • Creates a $1,000 tax credit for those who donate to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) providing scholarships, primarily to low income students, to attend a non-public school;
  • Increases the formula amount for determining Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship awards and increases the appropriation for the Peterson program;
  • Increases the maximum scholarship amount of the Autism Scholarship Program to $31,500 in FY22 and $32,455 in FY23;
  • Maintains helpful House passed provisions related to Auxiliary Services, Administrative Cost Reimbursement, College Credit Plus, and school busing, and increases the payment in lieu of transportation to 50% of the local cost of transporting the student, up to $2,500..

A full Senate vote is expected on Thursday, June 10, 2021. A Conference Committee will meet shortly afterwards to reconcile differences between the Executive, House and Senate versions.  A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2021.

Conference Testifies on Pending State Legislation

Public Assistance, Immigration, and Education Issues Addressed

The Conference testified on the following legislation:

Sub SB 17: Placing additional requirements for receiving public assistance benefits.  Testimony

HB 75: Possible amendment denying workers' compensation to undocumented workers.  Testimony  

HB 110: Education provisions in the budget impacting Catholic schools and students.  Testimony

Ohio House Adds Additional Funding for Programs Helping Catholic School Students

Auxiliary Services and Administrative Cost Reimbursement Programs Increased

The Ohio House Finance Committee added additional support for two programs helping Catholic school students. The House Ominbus Amendment increased GRF appropriation for nonpublic administrative cost reimbursement by $816,000 in FY22 and $1.6 million in FY23. It also increased the maximum per-pupil amount of administrative cost reimbursement payments to nonpublic schools for each of FY22 and FY23 from $466 to $475.

The amendment also increased GRF appropriation to Auxiliary Services  by $1.8 million in FY22 and $3.65 million in FY23. 

The full House is expected to pass this substitute version of the budget bill (HB 110).  Action and advacacy will now occur in the Ohio Senate.  Emphasis will be upon maintaining gains made in the House version, while encouraging improvements in the EdChoice programs, school transportation, and funding for housing and hunger programs. A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2021.

Catholic Conference Issues Letter to Ohio House Members Regarding the Proposed State Budget

HB 110 Under Consideration in House Finance Committee

The Ohio House is finalizing their version of the state budget, HB 110. The Ohio Senate has begun their hearings.  A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2021.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio issued a letter to all House members supporting features in the current version and recommending areas for improvement. The letter called attention to the Church's strong support for programs that assist people who are poor and vulnerable, and the Church's strong support for programs that help Catholic school students.

Education Action Alert 4-16-21

Health & Human Services Recommendations
Education Recommendations

Governor Signs Budget Bill

Bill Supports At- Risk Children & Families, Expands School Choice Programs, Increases Support for Hunger, Housing, and Crisis Pregnancy Programs

The Catholic Conference of Ohio commends Governor DeWine, Speaker Householder, President Obhof, House Minority Leader Sykes, Senate Minority Leader Yuko, OBM Director Murnieks, Senate Finance Chairman Dolan, House Finance Chairman Oelslager and all the legislators and staff for passing a responsible and compassionate state budget.

We commend this legislation’s focus on children; foster care; multi-system youth; interventions for at-risk infants, youth, families, victims of human trafficking, and seniors; education and early learning; clean water; lead abatements; hunger and housing responses; disaster assistance; jobs, and tax reductions to name a few.

HB 166 Summary Documents

Governor's Veto Message

Education Provisions Helpful to Catholic Schools and Students

Human Services Provisions Helpful to Persons in Need

Consensus Unable to be Reached before July 1 Deadline

Budget Remains in Conference Committee; Action expected by July 16

The State budget remains in gridlock.  Senate and House leaders were unable to find consensus prior to the July 1 constitutional deadline.  A temporary budget was passed expanding the deadline to July 16, 2019.  

The Catholic Conference of Ohio encourages leaders to find "common good" compromises. Both the Senate and House passed versions contain many commendable features. Such features include a focus on children; foster care; multi-system youth; interventions for at-risk infants, youth, families, victims of human trafficking, and seniors; education and early learning; clean water; lead abatements; hunger and housing responses; disaster assistance; jobs, and tax reductions to name a few. 

Catholic Conference of Ohio's Budget Recommendations
HB 166 Comparison Document

Ohio House Passes Budget Bill

Bill Receives Strong Bipartisan Support

Substitute HB 166 as passed by House

Comparison Document

Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Backgrounder for the Senate

Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Page 

Ohio House Considers State Budget: HB 166

Action expected by early May

HB 166: State Budget
House Budget Language
Governor's Proposal
LSC Analysis



Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Backgrounders

Health and Human Services
Defend and Protect Human Life
Promote Care for Creation
Support Families Who Choose Catholic Schools

Catholic Conference of Ohio Page on the State Budget

Governor DeWine Releases Executive Budget Proposal

Proposes Priority Funding Increases for Programs Related to Children, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatments, Workers, Lead Paint Abatements & Clean Water

The Ohio House will begin deliberations on the Executive Budget proposal presented by Governor DeWine.  A House version will be proposed, followed by a Senate version.  In June a conference committee will deliberate and propose compromises based upon the three versions.  A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2019.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio will be elvaluating and offering recommendations throughout the process.

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