Ohio governor signs budget, continues medicaid expansion

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a $71.2 billion, two-year state budget that continues his expansion of the Medicaid health program and provides an income-tax cut.

The Republican governor made extensive use of his line-item veto, striking 44 provisions from the sweeping spending blueprint before signing it Tuesday. Several vetoes targeted benefits provided large businesses or industries, including power plants, big box retailers and nursing homes.

The spending measure provides a 6.3-percent state income-tax cut beginning in tax year 2015 as a part of a roughly $1.9 billion net tax reduction. That lowers the top income-tax rate to just below 5 percent. It also provides tax relief for small businesses and funds public schools.

Kasich left untouched two provisions that aided in the closing of more Ohio abortion clinics.

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