Yesterday, members of the Ohio House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to override Governor Kasich's line-item veto of the OPTA-backed budget amendment designed to replace the millions of sales tax dollars Ohio's transit agencies and counties will lose when Medicaid services provided by managed care organizations will no longer be subject to state and local sales taxes.
The 87 to 10 vote clearly shows that members of the House understand and appreciate the vital role public transit plays in the lives of the people they represent.
Yesterday's vote was, however, one step in a long journey to replacing the dollars we'll lose when the MCO tax disappears. The next step: convincing the members of the Ohio Senate to concur with their House colleagues and vote to override. When and if they do, the Kasich Administration will be directed to ask the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow the state to increase the new franchise fee on health insuring corporations doing business in the state. The increased fee will provide the revenue transit agencies need to avoid making draconian cuts that will impact riders and local businesses.
Here's what you can do to help us get this important job done:
1. Thank your state rep for voting to override. It's easier to list the ten members who voted against the override than the 87 who voted with transit. Here's the list: Antani, Dean, Duffey, Hagan (Christina), Hood, Keller, Merrin, Patmon, Vitale, Zeltwanger.
If your rep isn't on it, give him or her a shout out. You can find your rep by entering your zip code on the Ohio House homepage.
2. Ask your state senator to concur in the House override. You can find your senator by entering your zip code on the Ohio Senate homepage.
3. Once the override process is complete, stay active and involved as we work to secure CMS's approval of the increased franchise fee.
Thanks again and congratulations to everyone who helped make yesterday's victory possible. Now let's work just as hard to complete our journey.