Ohio lawmakers eye final compromise on $56B budget

State legislative leaders in Ohio are working to strike a compromise in the state budget on such issues as merit pay for teachers and lottery privatization.

A bipartisan panel of budget negotiators from the Ohio House and Senate cancelled a hearing Friday and rescheduled it for Sunday. They face a Thursday deadline for hammering out differences in a nearly $57 billion, two-year budget.

Following deals struck with Gov. John Kasich, language applying a state business tax to all money spent at casinos' will likely be deleted from the bill.

House Speaker William Batchelder told reporters Thursday that a proposal to allow higher alcohol content in beer could also be removed. He said certain complex sticking points such as lottery privatization may have to be taken out and considered separately.

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