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If approved, the two-year, $51 billion state budget Gov. Bob Taft released Thursday would:



Published: Fri, February 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



If approved, the two-year, $51 billion state budget Gov. Bob Taft released Thursday would:

FREEZE FUNDING for Medicaid, the state-federal health care program for poor children and families, at $9.6 billion next year, and increase it to $9.9 billion the following year.

INCREASE FUNDING to schools by 2.5 percent to $6.15 billion next year and $6.29 billion the following year.

INCREASE PER PUPIL allocation to $5,328 for each pupil next year, a 3.1 percent increase, and $5,489, a 3 percent increase.

EXPAND FUNDING for public colleges and universities to $2.47 billion next year, a 0.9 percent increase, and $2.52 billion the following year, a 2 percent increase.

INCREASE FUNDING for Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to $1.48 billion next year, a 2.6 percent increase, and $1.5 billion in 2007, a 1.7 percent increase. The low increases will likely result in the loss of hundreds of employees by attrition.

INCREASE FUNDING for the Department of Mental Health to $557 million next year, a 3.3 percent increase, and $573 million the following year, a 3 percent increase.

REDUCE FUNDING to local governments and libraries, to $1.1 billion next year and $1 billion the following year. That includes $440 million for libraries next year, a 3 percent cut.

INCREASE FUNDING for the PASSPORT program, which allows the elderly to live at home instead of entering nursing homes, to $112 million next year, an 8 percent increase, and $121 million the following year, also an 8 percent increase.

FREEZES FUNDING for state commissions for African American Males and Hispanic-Latino Affairs, the Ohioana Library Association, Legal Rights Services and Commission on Minority Health, among others.

CONSOLIDATE 27 INDEPENDENT BOARDS, such as those that regulate doctors and dentists, to save some of the boards' combined $32 million annual budget.




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