Tell your lawmakers: Advance a Budget that Invests in Women
No matter where we live, what we look like, or what we do for a living, all Ohioans deserve the ability to live economically secure, safe, and healthy lives. When our state policymakers come together to enact policies that invest in women and their families, it strengthens our communities, builds a more equitable future, and creates opportunities for all Ohioans.
One of the most crucial undertakings by Governor DeWine and the 134th General Assembly (2021 – 2022) is to draft and implement a two-year biennial operating budget for the state of Ohio. The state budget is a reflection of the funding and policy priorities for the future of Ohio and our communities. It impacts the quality of life of women, children, and families.
Currently, the Conference Committee is deliberating on the state budget bill. This committee is comprised of key lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, from both the House and the Senate who will sort out the differences between the House and Senate versions to get to a final version of the budget bill. We need Ohioans to use their voices to call on members of the Committee to advance a budget bill that invests in Ohio women and their families. Now is the time for state lawmakers to take bold action through the state budget to build an Ohio that works for us all.
The key investments and policies that our partners at the Ohio Women's Public Policy Network outline below are crucial to the lives and futures of Ohio women, families, and communities. As the budget bill now moves to the Conference Committee to sort out differences between the budget bills, members must make investments in women and families, including:
- Maintain the $2,250,000 in FY 2022 for DEV, in coordination with DOH, to support stable housing initiatives for pregnant mothers and to improve maternal and infant health outcomes (Included in Executive, House, and Senate versions)
- Maintain the $1,375,000 allocated to expand targeted RECLAIM, the Behavioral Health Juvenile Justice Initiative, and other evidence-based programs of community-based rehabilitation (Included in Executive, House, and Senate versions)
- Maintain the extension of Medicaid eligibility for pregnant people to provide continuous coverage for up to 12-months postpartum (Included in Senate version)
- Maintain the provision to increase initial eligibility for publicly funded child care aid to set it to at 142% of the federal poverty level (FPL), and at 150% of the FPL for children with disabilities (Included in Senate version)
- Maintain the investment made to the state’s Rape Crisis Fund to allocate $10 million per fiscal year (Included in the Senate version)
- Maintain the investment made to the state’s Domestic Violence Program to allocate $5 million per fiscal year ($5 million per fiscal year included in Senate version)
- Add a refundable option to the state Earned Income Tax Credit at 10% of the federal EITC (Not included in any version)
- Add a provision allowing for Medicaid and private insurance coverage of doula and midwife services (Not included in any version)
- Add an expansion of the Paid Leave program for workers employed by the state of Ohio from 6 weeks of parental leave to 12 weeks of parental, caregiving, and personal medical leave (Not included in any version)
- Remove the $6 million per fiscal year of funds from TANF allocated to the Ohio Parenting and Pregnancy Program, also known as “Crisis Pregnancy Centers" (Included in House and Senate versions)
- Remove restrictions on federal emergency dollars designated to Ohio through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan, focused on improving early learning programs (Included in Senate version)
- Remove language that eliminates the requirement that an early childhood education program meet at least the third highest tier through the Step Up to Quality Program to provide services, effectively ending the Step Up to Quality Program (Included in Senate version)
- Remove requirement for Ohio Department of Medicaid to use third-party data to conduct an eligibility redetermination of all Ohio Medicaid recipients within 60 days after the conclusion of the COVID-19 emergency period (Included in Senate version)