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LIMA A number of organizations offered their thoughts following Gov. John Kasichs State of the State speech in Lima on Tuesday. Below is a sampling of their opinions on various topics:



Education



The Governors address outlined a bold plan for continuing to move Ohios economy forward. While many states are reducing funding for colleges, Governor Kasich has shown he understands that higher education is the engine driving long-term economic development in this state. We welcome the governors support of higher education and echo his call to better prepare students for the future by tying state funding to degree completion. This enlightened approach to funding for Ohios universities and colleges will lead us to greater collaboration while setting a new course for public higher education across this great state.



E. Gordon Gee, president, The Ohio State University



Economy



We were heartened by the Governors laser focus on the issues that are essential to creating an environment in which Ohio manufacturers can succeed issues such as competitive taxes, accessible and affordable energy, infrastructure improvements, upgraded workforce training and vocational education, and initiatives that foster innovation and creativity. We applaud the Governors commitment to manufacturing as a necessary economic driver.



Eric Burkland, president, Ohio Manufacturers Association



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, Governor 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. The Governor is again turning his back on the states 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.



Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO President



The Governors tax proposals deal positively with Ohios greatest problem slow income and job growth the state is now below the national average in these areas, and income tax reduction and sales tax expansion as part of an overall tax reduction plan is a very good move. The claims that this program will hurt the poor I think is essentially bogus, partially because the poor will be big beneficiaries of any future growth in income and jobs.



Richard Vedder, distinguished professor of economics emeritus, Ohio University



Energy



Ohios oil and natural gas industry is a proven game-changer in the states economic resurgence. The arrival of shale energy development and production in Ohio has brought tens of thousands of new high paying jobs and the promise of a bright economic future for hard working Ohio families. Our industry not only shares the governors desire for progress, we are leading the way.



Robert Eshenbaugh, Ohio Petroleum Council legislative analyst



Medicaid



Tonight Governor Kasich once again showed his commitment to helping Ohioans in need. In his biennial budget he took another courageous and bold step in helping some of Ohios most vulnerable citizens by proposing the expansion of Medicaid to 138% of poverty. We completely support this expansion, as this will provide for the single largest investment in the alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health systems in a great many years.



Mike Schoenhofer, executive director of the Allen, Auglaize & Hardin Counties Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and president of the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities



Gov. Kasich is to be commended for standing for a healthier Ohio in the face of great political pressure. Thanks to Governor Kasichs courageous decision to accept federal funds and pursue Medicaid extension will provide a stable source of coverage to improve access for low income workers and ultimately strengthen families. Voices will continue to advocate and encourage support of the extension in the legislature.



Sandy Oxley, Chief Advocacy Officer and Interim CEO of Voices for Ohios Children



Governor John Kasichs compassion for Ohios most vulnerable citizens is to be applauded. The Governor has courageously proposed a responsible extension of the Medicaid program in a way that safeguards Ohio taxpayers while extending basic health care coverage to many of Ohios working poor. CareSource applauds Governor Kasichs proposal to extend Medicaid in Ohio. This is the right choice for the people and businesses in Ohio. The extension of Medicaid is supported by some of Ohios largest business associations because they understand that healthier Ohioans are an essential part of our overall economic competitiveness. Again this evening Governor Kasich demonstrated his commitment to transforming health care in our State.



Pamela Morris, President and CEO of CareSource



Political reactions



Its sort of like a boxer. When youve got somebody on the ropes, you gotta knock em out We got to be aggressive. We cant let up, because we dont want to go back to where we were. We cant afford that.



Mike Bell, Toledo mayor



As a local state representative, I was pleased to welcome Governor Kasich to this part of the state. The trip highlighted the broad economic improvement in the region. In my district, Auglaize, Darke, Mercer and Shelby counties have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Employers want hard workers and a state that welcomes industry. In addition, the strong agricultural sector in the region has a direct impact on the low unemployment level. In the state legislature we will partner with the governor to promote economically sound reforms and grow our local economic sectors.



Rep. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville






John Kasich
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