Kasich Talks Money, Politics, Drugs In Long State Of The State Speech - Which Was Short On New Proposals

Gov.  John Kasich covered a lot of ground in his State of the State speech in Sandusky, his seventh annual address to the House and Senate and his sixth one delivered out of the Statehouse and on the road. But he also made a little news – toward the end of a speech that went on for just over 70 minutes. Toward the end, Kasich brought forth the biggest policy initiative in the address - some new grant money toward the battle, from the state fund best known for backing high-tech ideas. Kasich also defended his budget and its 17% income tax cut paid for with a higher sales tax and other increases, a change in the way businesses file their net profits taxes, and praise for Medicaid expansion. He also mentioned a task force he wants to see of business and education leaders to look toward jobs of the future.  Kasich also seemed to be speaking to people in the room – and the audience at large – with some brief references on partisanship and polarization, suggesting that fighting hunger and infant mortality, and helping veterans and reaching out can bridge the gap. Kasich also continued his tradition of Courage Awards to people whose work he admires.

Kasich’s speech got praise from his Republican colleagues in the legislature. But Democrats are not on board. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles was in Sandusky for the address and talked to several key lawmakers afterward.

Two veteran journalists shared their reactions as part of the Statehouse News Bureau's coverage of the 2017 State of the State address. Chris Quinn is the editor and president of Advance Ohio, the company that runs Cleveland.com and owns the Plain Dealer. Howard Wilkinson covered politics and government for 30 years at the Cincinnati Enquirer. He’s now with the WVXU News Team in Cincinnati.

Lawmakers and Gov. Kasich want to bring two more weapons into the fight against the state’s deadly opioid epidemic - a Republican backed bill limiting painkiller prescriptions, and a rule change by Kasich that further limits doctors in prescribing painkillers. A grieving father may be getting some credit for those ideas. Scott Weidle is a business owner from the Dayton area. He lost his son Daniel the day after Christmas 2015.

Sandusky was the sixth city Kasich selected for his traveling State of the State road show. It’s similar in size to several of the other towns he’s selected – Steubenville, Lima, Wilmington, Medina and Marietta. ideastream's Rick Jackson went to Sandusky before the speech to investigate some of the reasons why it might have made the cut.

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