State Of The State Raises Praise And Concern From Lawmakers

For only the second time, a governor of Ohio took his annual State of the State speech out of Capitol Square in Columbus. And for the first time, it happened in prime time. Gov. John Kasich gave his third State of the State speech at the Veterans Memorial Civic & Convention Center in downtown Lima on Tuesday night. The Governor talked a lot about jobs, but spent most of his speech selling his just-introduced budget. He also honored three people with Governor’s Courage Awards - astronaut Neil Armstrong, the Ohioan who became the first man to walk on the moon – his sons Rick and Mark accepted for their father, who died last year; Sondra Williams, a Columbus activist, author, speaker and mother of four adults with autism who has autism herself; and nine faculty and staff from Chardon High School, where just about a year ago three students were killed and three others injured in the worst public high school shooting since 2005.

Just a few moments after the Governor finished his speech, the official responses to the speeches began. Republicans went first, with Speaker Bill Batchelder and Senate President Keith Faber praising his proposals but leaving lots of hints that not everything Kasich put forward would actually be approved. The Democrats of the House and Senate were up next. House Minority Leader Armond Budish of Beachwood cheered the Medicaid expansion, but he and other Democrats blasted the new school funding formula and the idea of income tax cuts paid for with an expansion of the state sales tax onto certain services.

For further analysis of the speech and reaction to it, the reporters of the Statehouse News Bureau – Bill Cohen and Jo Ingles - share their observations.

Also on the day that Gov. Kasich delivered his speech, the man who’s right now being talked about as the leading Democrat to run against him delivered his key annual address. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald was before about a thousand people at the City Club of Cleveland with the State of the County speech.

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