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Good morning Advocate,
On Monday, Governor Kasich released his executive budget. Advocates for Ohio's Future issued our initial response praising the Governor for expanding health coverage to thousands of Ohioans. You can read our news release here.
We are still waiting to see an actual bill to evaluate where we need to make critical investments to strengthen families and communities in Ohio. We are hearing the bill may be available on Feb 13. Until then, here is what we know now:
Services that strengthen Ohioans in the Governor's Budget
• Medicaid eligibility increased to all Ohioans with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Health coverage will be extended to nearly half a million Ohioans by 2022.
• We are encouraged by language from the Office of Health Transformation around prioritizing home and community based services, rebuilding the community behavioral health system capacity, and enhancing community developmental disabilities services.
Services maintained in the Governor's Budget
• Funding for the Ohio Housing Trust Fund and the foodbanks remain funded at 2013 levels.
• Child welfare, adoption services, family and children first services, and Help Me Grow also remain flat at the 2013 levels.
• We are continuing to review changes in long term care, mental health, addiction services, and services for people with disabilities.
Services in jeopardy in the Governor's Budget
• Funding for uncompensated care for the community-based health centers was eliminated.
Register now to join us for a "State Budget Update" webinar on Tuesday, February 19 from 3 - 4:00 pm.
The purpose of the webinar is to learn from lead advocates about how the state budget strengthens communities and where we need to make more investments to make families stronger and Ohioans more competitive. We’ll share budget updates on food, housing, mental health and drug addiction services, Medicaid expansion and programs that impact children, senior and people with disabilities.
Click here for more details and to register.
Get More Involved
Visit our resources page to review our talking points, fact sheets, and other resources for having conversations with leaders and lawmakers about strengthening families and communities in Ohio.
You can check out the the complete budget, the “Ohio’s Jobs Budget 2.0,” and policy papers from the Office of Health Transformation here.
Stay tuned for further analysis, action alerts, and other opportunities to get involved in the state budget debate.
Will Petrik and Gail Clendenin