• The Latest: Senate passes its 2-year, $69B Ohio budget plan

    Updated:
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Latest on Ohio's proposed state budget (all times local):

    2:45 p.m.

    The Ohio House and Senate agree the next state budget should lower income taxes for individuals, but the size of that cut is among sticking points to be hashed out as they face a June 30 deadline to get a spending plan signed by the governor.

    The Republican-led Senate unanimously passed its two-year, $69 billion budget proposal Thursday. It would direct more money toward water quality initiatives, local governments, libraries and public television stations. It would allot $550 million for educational wraparound services.

    It also would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21, change high school graduation requirements to reduce state tests, and push back Ohio's presidential primary election date.

    The budget now goes to a joint legislative committee to work out differences between the House and Senate proposals.

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    9:30 a.m.

    Ohio would establish more flexible permanent graduation requirements for high schoolers, hold its presidential primary election later in March, and require hospitals to post their standard pricing online under the latest state budget proposal.

    The Republican-led Senate is expected to vote Thursday on its version of the two-year, $69 billion spending plan, which includes those and other changes.

    It would lower income taxes for individuals and direct more money toward educational wraparound services, water quality initiatives, local governments, libraries and public television stations. It also would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 and add taxes on vaping products.

    Lawmakers have until June 30 to sort out differences between the Senate's plan and the House version and get a budget signed by GOP Gov. Mike DeWine.

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