National surveys show consumers’ mood is brightening, and it’s not just holiday cheer. The more positive outlook has a lot to do with the steep drop in gasoline prices since last summer. 2015 holds the promise of more price relief not only at the gas pump but also at grocery stores.
Legislature Readies For Budget Compromise
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Lawmakers from the Ohio House and Senate are readying to start negotiations on the two chambers’ budgets.
The Senate passed a two-year, $55 billion budget last week, about after the House passed its version. But there are still serious differences that need to be hammered out by a committee appointed by members of both parties. Republican Keith Faber is second in charge in the Senate.
“There are probably four or five issues…. one is the pay cut that I championed in the Senate,” Faber said.
That pay cut would dock legislators pay 5 percent and send the difference to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Speaking on WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mike Skindell argued against it.
“As a Democrat I don’t need legislation to direct me to make charitable contributions. I already do that,” Skindell said.
Skindell will be one of two Democrats on the budget conference committee. Along with the pay cut, other sticking points are thought to be abortion language in both budgets and several House-approved changes to charter schools. The state has to approve a budget by June 30.