Ohio Senate Republicans are expected to vote this week on their version of a new two-year state budget that includes $650 million in cuts to Medicaid, a college scholarship program, and other areas while preserving public school funding.

The proposals from Senate Republicans who hold a majority in that chamber represent the latest move as lawmakers work on a new spending plan for the biennium that begins July 1. House Democratic leaders have adopted their own $55 billion version of the budget. Gov. Ted Strickland is a Democrat.

House Republican Minority Leader William G. Batchelder called the Senate plan “a good beginning toward crafting a sustainable, realistic budget to protect Ohio’s taxpayers.”

Republicans charged that the House version is $1 billion out of whack because revenue collections continue to falter. After Senate passage of the budget, a conference committee will take up the various proposals to craft a final plan that can win approval in both chambers and be signed by Strickland.

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