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Sex ed strictly limited under GOP budget

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Teaching sex education in Ohio schools could become very tricky if a Republican amendment to the state budget bill becomes law.

The House Finance Committee approved the state budget yesterday on a 20-9 party-line vote after majority Republicans inserted an omnibus amendment which included – among other things – a section that prohibits schools from teaching any sex education material that “endorses student non-abstinence …or promotes sexual gateway activity.”

“My sense is that this budget bill is more or less a shot in the dark by House Republicans. The Governor put them in an odd place with some pretty severe, sweeping changes. They essentially just walked it all back and added egregious social policy provisions on sex education and women’s rights. All in a day’s work, I suppose,” committee member Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) said.

The GOP also added $30 million a year for nursing home “quality incentive payments,” similar to a proposal Gov. John Kasich vetoed before.

The vote clears the way for full House consideration later this week.

The Republican amendment allows parents to sue schools for teaching “gateway sexual activity” or teaching about contraception or sexual “that encourage experimentation with sexual activity” and provides for $5,000 penalties for violations.

Democratic amendments which were rejected, including one reinstating Medicaid expansion, stripped from the budget by Republicans last week, and another replacing a 7 percent income tax cut with a 10 percent “targeted middle class tax cut,” Carney said.

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