DeWine budget plan targets funding for kids, workforce, water

COLUMBUS (AP) — Efforts to support Ohio’s vulnerable children and adults, prepare more skilled workers, and address water-quality concerns would get targeted funding increases under Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s first state operating budget proposal.

Officials say the spending plan unveiled today doesn’t raise taxes, instead relying on anticipated slow, steady economic growth from current revenue sources.

DeWine proposes nearly doubling state funding for family and children services and giving schools $550 million to support and encourage students through mental-health counseling, mentoring and other efforts.

He also would triple state funding for defending criminal suspects who can’t afford lawyers and allot $900 million now for water-quality projects over a decade.

The budget covers the two-year period starting July 1. Lawmakers must debate changes and send it back for DeWine to approve before then.

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