COLUMBUS Gov. Ted Strickland took his first budget to the final day, signing the $52 billion spending plan just hours before the fiscal year ended Saturday, and after making good on his threat to veto a tax-funded voucher program to allow special-needs students to attend private schools.
The budget freezes college tuition for two years and supplies $100 million in scholarships for the math and science students Strickland and legislative leaders say are needed to bolster Ohio's economy.
It also expands a program that allows poor children to be eligible for health insurance and provides a property tax break for people 65 and older.
Both chambers of the Legislature passed the budget on Wednesday.
Bickering has been intense in recent budgets, as political factions vied for their pet programs amid an atmosphere of limited resources. But in the wake of last year's political power shift in which Democrats including Strickland captured four of five statewide races, this year's budget received just a single 'no' vote out of 264 potential votes on the bill's various versions.
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