Ohio Senate overrides six vetoes, leaves five for consideration

The state Senate has taken action against six of Governor Kasich’s budget bill vetoes

Ohio Senate

COLUMBUS (WKBN) — The state Senate has taken action against six of Governor Kasich’s budget bill vetoes.

The state House of Representatives sent 11 overrides to the Senate for their consideration.

Six of the 11 were taken up and passed, the remaining five were tabled.

Senate President Larry Obhof says the overrides not taken up could be heard at a later date.

“The ones that we didn’t do today were ones where we feel like the administration is working with us toward common solutions,” said Obhof.

Half of the overrides passed unanimously, or nearly so.

Two allow for the setting of Medicaid rates for neonatal and newborn services and making changes to the formulas that govern the rates for nursing facilities.

The third delays the addition of behavioral health services to Medicaid managed care until July of next year.

Obhof says legislators sent a message to the administration with their votes.

“The administrative state has taken on what were traditionally or what should be responsibilities of the legislature, and we are starting to take some of that back.”

Voting on the remaining three overrides came down along party lines with Republican Senator John Eklund crossing the aisle to vote with the Democrats.

“Senator Eklund surprised me,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Kenny Yuko. “That was the lone surprise I think of today.”

Yuko says he respects Eklund for having strong opinions and standing by his convictions.

One of the vetoes overridden along party lines now gives the legislature the power to deny Medicaid coverage to new optional groups unless they permit it by state statute.

Governor Kasich vetoed this because he says it violates federal law.

The final two overrides deal with the power and authority of the controlling board.

The board has been in existence for more than 100 years and approves the spending of state tax dollars, in some circumstances.

At the end of the session, the senators tabled the remaining five overrides sent to them from the House of Representatives, with a strong urging from the Democratic caucus to address item 33 as soon as possible.

Some of the overrides may be picked up in the coming weeks if Kasich’s administration is unable to come up with solutions.

Governor Kasich released the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of veto overrides.

The Senate deserves credit for saying no to efforts that would have risked the future sustainability of Ohio’s health care system in order to seek a 24 percent tax hike on health plans. I also applaud the Senate for choosing a different path on additional counterproductive health care provisions. I stand by my vetoes on other health care items and am disappointed with today’s actions on them, but am committed to working to manage changes with the least possible disruption in order to continue providing taxpayers with value and needy Ohioans with quality care.

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