- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

A look at some key policy proposals contained in the $72.3 billion, two-year state operating budget released by Gov. John Kasich on Monday:

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TAXES:

- Increase the state’s sales tax from 5.75 percent to 6.25 percent and broaden it to include services such as cable TV subscriptions, parking and lobbying

- Boost the cigarette tax from $1.25 to $2.25 a pack and increase the tax on other tobacco products, such as cigars, to an equivalent level

- Increase severance tax to 6.5 percent for crude oil and natural gas sold at the wellhead, and 4.5 percent for natural gas and natural gas liquids sold downstream

- Eliminate the tax on income for small businesses with annual gross receipts of $2 million or less

- Cut Ohio’s top marginal income-tax rate to 4.1 percent over the two-year budget

- Raise the rate on commercial activity tax from 0.26 percent to 0.32 percent

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EDUCATION:

- Cap tuition increases at 2 percent in the first budget year and 0 percent in second year

- Provide $18.5 million to train more high school teachers in college instruction and reward schools that exceed a high level of participation in the program

- Use $120 million for a college debt relief fund

- Identify best practices for preventing and responding to campus sexual assaults by Sept. 1, and allocate $2 million to implement these new strategies

- Make $25 million available to charter school sponsors deemed “exemplary”; “ineffective” sponsors would be barred from sponsoring new schools, and “poor” rated sponsors would lose their schools

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HEALTH CARE

- Continue to fund an expansion of the Medicaid health program

- Invest $316 million over two years in services for those with a developmental disability

- Seek federal approval to require monthly premiums for certain beneficiaries of the Medicaid program

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WATER QUALITY

- Require all dredged material to be diverted from open-lake disposal by 2020

- Prohibit farmers in the western Lake Erie basin from applying manure or fertilizer to frozen, snow-covered or rain-soaked ground unless certain practices are followed

- Require those applying manure to be certified by the state

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Source:

Office of Budget and Management

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