Ohio House splits governor's budget into 14 bills

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The speaker of the Ohio House says Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) voluminous midterm budget is being divided into 14 separate bills.

Republican House Speaker William Batchelder announced plans Tuesday for tackling the 1,600-page document.

Batchelder says he made the decision because Kasich delivered lawmakers a "comprehensive, policy-rich" document that deserves thorough consideration.

The governor's plan makes sweeping tax and education changes and streamlines government services for jobseekers and the poor. It contains an 8.5-percent income tax cut funded by tax increases on drilling, tobacco products and commercial activity.

Batchelder sent to 11 House committees bills broken down by categories such as education, taxes, workforce development, mental health, gambling and veterans issues.

With the House considering separate industry-backed drilling tax changes, Kasich's proposed increase was contained in a stand-alone bill.