New General Assembly Sworn In, With Much On The Agenda

There will be no rematch of the gubernatorial race of 2010. After much speculation that he was weighing a run, former Gov. Ted Strickland announced this week that he would not seek the Democratic nomination to face Gov. John Kasich in 2014. Among those possibly still in the race: Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Youngstown area Congressman Tim Ryan and former Attorney General Richard Cordray, now the director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

State lawmakers convened at the Statehouse for the first day of the 130th General Assembly this week. Monday brought individual swearing-in ceremonies before the group inaugurations on the House and Senate floor. The leadership of both chambers was officially elected. And then legislators left again, since no committee hearings were scheduled this week. Now lawmakers wait for the budget, which will be introduced sometime before mid-March, and for Gov. Kasich to announce when and where he wants to deliver his State of the State speech. He has to ask permission to move it out of the Statehouse. Here’s what he said this week:

With the 130th General Assembly all sworn in, for many people the big questions are what items are on the agenda, and in what order? Offering their thoughts on what’s ahead for the next two years – and specifically the next few months – are two longtime political strategists. Mark Weaver is a former assistant Ohio Attorney General and has run or consulted on several successful Republican campaigns in Ohio and nationwide. He teaches law at Ohio State University and the University of Akron, and is the president of the media relations and advertising firm Communications Counsel. Dale Butland has also been behind some big Democratic candidate and cause campaigns in Ohio, and is the communications director for Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank.

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