House budget pumps $170M into solving Ohio’s opiate epidemic

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A plan unveiled Tuesday by majority House Republicans includes funding for a smartphone app, a 24-hour hotline and other inventive ways to tackle Ohio’s opioid crisis.

Speaker Clifford Rosenberger and Finance Chairman Ryan Smith said their version of Ohio’s two-year operating budget adds over $170 million to address the scourge driven by prescription painkillers and heroin.

House revisions include 1.5-percent across-the-board cuts to most programs, while protecting certain priority areas, including K-12 education.

It scraps Republican Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) tax-reform package and cuts about $2.5 billion overall from his initial budget plan, mostly by adjustments to the federal-state Medicaid health insurance program.

Kasich’s office said balancing the budget and restraining spending are essential to Ohio’s economy and that he’s reviewing the proposed House changes.


This story has been corrected to show that the governor’s statement came from Kasich’s office, not Kasich.