LIMA ‚?? Not unexpectedly, reaction to Gov. John Kasich‚??s State of the State address from Lima was mixed Tuesday. Republicans left the Veterans Memorial Civic Center emboldened by Kasich‚??s pointed leadership. Democrats left confident he‚??s leaving himself vulnerable to defeat in two years.
Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, said it‚??s a pleasure to work with a governor who‚??s willing to lead.
‚??Right now we have a lot of challenges and opportunities at the state. We came in to two years ago where we had to turn things around,‚?Ě Faber said. ‚??As the governor said, we went from an $8 billion budget deficit to a place where trains are running on time, and we‚??re starting to have some opportunities and options. That‚??s going to be the discussion in the General Assembly now as we go forward in the next few months.
‚??Certainly we see a plan and a vision, and I think the Senate definitely shares a vision to make sure we build and move Ohio forward. From that perspective, we‚??re going to study the governor‚??s proposals in great detail with great enthusiasm, and frankly we look forward to working with the governor.‚?Ě
House Minority Leader Armond Budish, D-Beachwood, said while he commends Kasich for proposing to expand Medicaid coverage, Kasich‚??s implication that his administration has been responsible for job growth in the state the last two years is misguided.
‚??I think the governor claimed credit for creating every single job that‚??s been created in Ohio. It‚??s particularly interesting since I just heard a national election where the Republicans were constantly saying the government doesn‚??t create jobs, but I‚??ll let that go,‚?Ě Budish said. ‚??The governor claimed that JobsOhio is working, which I find interesting since JobsOhio hasn‚??t even been funded yet. Even if JobsOhio is working, it‚??s impossible for us to know since there is no accountability, no sunshine; he even exempted JobsOhio from the ethics clause of the state.‚?Ě
Tracie Sanchez, president and owner of Lima Pallet Co., said in a statement she is encouraged by the bold reforms outlined in Kasich‚??s speech.
‚??His tax cut plan will allow small business owners to put more dollars back into our operations, which ultimately helps our employees and our community,‚?Ě Sanchez said. ‚??After years of feeling as though government has been working against us and hindering our success, it is refreshing to know we have a leader so focused on helping job creators all across our state.‚?Ě
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett, in a statement, said Kasich‚??s message about jobs is right on the mark.
‚??Gov. John Kasich hit it out of the park tonight. Once again, he offered a bold and comprehensive budget to further propel Ohio forward,‚?Ě Bennett said. ‚??Ohio is making a recovery on Kasich‚??s watch as Governor. By cutting taxes he continues to send the message that Ohioans are creating jobs again.
‚??Ohio was in a different state three years ago when we had a Democrat governor and Democrats in the Ohio House. Ohio had soaring unemployment, unpaid bills and a poor economic outlook. Today, thanks to Gov. John Kasich, Ohio‚??s fiscal house is in order and Ohio‚??s economy is improving. Clearly, Gov. Kasich is getting our state back on track. Ohio is winning.‚?Ě
Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, in a statement, said Kasich‚??s address glossed over significant problems with the state‚??s path to economic recovery and said even with improvement, the state‚??s 6 .7 percent unemployment rate is still too high. Burga said public-sector layoffs triggered by Kasich‚??s first budget and his approach to education and local government funding will continue to reduce jobs and impede recovery.
‚??The layoffs of firefighters, police officers, teachers and other public employees providing a wide variety of needed services continue to have an impact on nearly every Ohio community. Unfortunately, Gov. Kasich is proposing to raise state sales taxes by $3 billion to pay for another state income tax reduction which will hurt middle- and lower-income working families and small businesses the most,‚?Ě Burga said. ‚??The governor is again turning his back on the state‚??s responsibility to properly fund our local communities by forcing Ohioans to decide on the ballot whether to support their local levies for public schools, fire departments and an array of needed services or vote against a new tax they may not be able to afford. This is a complete shell game, and we need to restore fairness to our budgeting in Ohio.‚?Ě
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