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State Lawmakers Question Kasich's Traveling State of the State Speeches

Kasich at the 2017 State of the State

Gov. John Kasich has delivered his last six State of the State speeches in cities around Ohio – and not in the Statehouse. He now says he wants to give his final address to a joint session of the General Assembly March 6 in Westerville, 15 miles north of the Capitol. 

Some legislators have been concerned about the move of the annual address.

The numbers of lawmakers opposing the resolution each year to move Kasich’s State of the State has dropped as the Republican majority has increased. But Republicans have raised concerns about added costs and breaking tradition. 

Conservative Rep. Kristina Roegner of Hudson voted against moving the speech to Sandusky this year, noting the Statehouse is the centrally located repository of public records for state government.

“And the governor, for his own reasons, has been dragging us along to distant places, at times uncomfortable.”

No Republican senator has voted against moving the speech. A Democratic representative proposed legislation in 2014 to require the State of the State be delivered at the Statehouse, but it never got out of committee.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.