- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) has signed a midterm budget bill packed with policy changes.

The Republican governor said Monday he’ll continue such off-year budgets if re-elected because Ohio’s two-year budget cycle moves too slowly.

Kasich received praise during an event at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank for the bill’s package of tax cuts. They include doubling Ohio’s earned-income tax credit from 5 percent to 10 percent for low-income taxpayers, increasing personal income-tax exemptions for residents making under $80,000 annually, and accelerating a planned income-tax reduction.

Democratic gubernatorial challenger Ed FitzGerald said the bill does little to restore cuts to local governments and schools.

The bill places legislative controls on $300 million set aside for unexpected Medicaid expenses. It also specifies how certain mental-health and addiction treatment funds will be spent.

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