(The Center Square) – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued 44 line-item vetoes in the process of signing the state’s next two-year budget.
Gone, among other things, are a planned two-week sales tax holiday and the ability for local governments to regulate tobacco and other nicotine products, along with a provision that would have prohibited foreign adversaries from owning agricultural land in the state.
Overall, DeWine called the budget historic, balanced and one that creates opportunities.
“I am proud to sign this budget, and while it makes historic investments in Ohioans across their lives, I believe we are doing more to support and encourage Ohio’s children to lead happy, healthy and productive lives than ever before,” DeWine said.
DeWine said he wanted the state tax commissioner, county governments and the state budget director to study an expansion of the state’s sales tax holiday.
He also vetoed sending interest earned from the state’s rainy day fund to the state’s general fund.
Democrats said the number of vetoes proved the $86.1 billion budget, which passed both the House and Senate along Republican Party lines, needed to be improved and criticized DeWine’s failure to remove universal school choice and stripping away the power of the state school board.
“The governor’s significant number of vetoes reflects a state budget that, I believe, needed more work. I am pleased with vetoes that better protect child care quality, public health, and the state’s financial resources,” said House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington. “However, the governor failed to veto key accountability and transparency restrictions relative to dissolving the elected state school board, expanding private school vouchers to an unsustainable level, and keeping over $1 billion in opioid settlement money a secret.”
The local tobacco regulation veto was in line with his January veto of a similar measure passed by the General Assembly in an attempt to stop Columbus from banning the sale of flavored nicotine products.
DeWine also removed a ban on colleges and universities requiring students to receive certain vaccines.