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Ohio Gov. John Kasich discusses economy, college affordability in State of the State

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Republican Gov. John Kasich delivered his inauguration speech to a packed Southern Theatre in downtown Columbus Jan. 12. Credit: Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editor

Republican Gov. John Kasich delivered his inauguration speech to a packed Southern Theatre in downtown Columbus Jan. 12. Credit: Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editor

Addressing members of the state’s general assembly from a stage decorated with a large Ohio flag Tuesday night, Gov. John Kasich acknowledged successes of the past year, but stressed that the state “has more work to do.”

“We haven’t finished our mission. We have a lot more battles to wage and I cannot wage them without you,” Kasich said in his State of the State address, delivered in Wilmington, Ohio. “We need to win more battles against the status quo. We cannot drift. We have to continue to win battles against the status quo if we want to take Ohio to where we want to be, where we need to be.”

Part of this battle, Kasich said, includes looking toward future challenges, such as the state’s aging workforce and the tendency of small businesses and young professionals to leave Ohio in favor of states with lower income taxes.

“Many of our most successful job creators, entrepreneurs and CEOs leave Ohio … and when they do, they take their ideas with them,” he said. “We cannot lose our best and brightest. I am pleading with you to understand that we are driving them out.”

Kasich said the incorporation of new industries, such as 3-D printing, cloud computing, data analytics and telemedicine, is one way for the state to appeal to students and recent graduates.

“As our population ages, these kinds of cutting-edge jobs help us keep and attract young people,” he said. “If you want to keep young people in this state, when they graduate and they can find an exciting new job, they are not going anywhere.”

In his speech, Kasich also mentioned the Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency in Higher Education, a group tasked with examining ways for Ohio universities and colleges to cut costs.

“We are going to have this big task force and we are going to get into your costs,” Kasich said. “We are going to have a study and look at everything that drives the costs up at universities.”

Earlier this month, Kasich signed executive order 2015-01K, which established the task force, and announced the selection of Ohio State Chief Financial Officer Geoff Chatas as chair.

“(With) lower costs, a cap and a freeze on tuition, more students can afford college,” Kasich said, though he added that efforts to decrease student loan debt could seem like “a thimble in the ocean.”

“The universities have said we will not take one single dime of public money until a student completes a course … or graduates,” he said. “We want to send a signal that we know how tough (dealing with student loans) is.”

David Stanislav, the vice chair of the OSU College Republicans and a second-year in chemical engineering, said he noticed Kasich’s speech touched upon several aspects of life in Ohio that could be applicable to OSU students.

“The one thing that really stood out to me was I think he had a very strong focus on the economy, obviously, about keeping young people in Ohio, which I think is really pertinent to Ohio State students,” he said.

An OSU College Democrat representative could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Kasich ended his speech with recognition of Ohio’s growth.

“We are on the move. We are rising,” he said. “We are creating jobs. People are more hopeful, and you know what is really great? No one is being left out.”

2 comments

  1. If you want to keep people and jobs in Ohio, then quit raising the other taxes on the middle class. I noticed this big time on some purchases I’ve made lately. The tax on these products was RIDICULOUS. Kasich lowers income taxes, but then raises taxes on everything else and those in the lower and even middle class can’t afford it. If he lowers income tax even more, and raises taxes on everything else, he’ll REALLY drive jobs and younger residents out of Ohio. Try it yourself. Buy a big ticket item and see how much the tax is on it (a TV, a bed, a car, etc.).

  2. Yup, raise that regressive sales tax even more, and lower the progressive income tax. Hurts the middle- & lower-income folks more than the those in higher income brackets. Same old, same old — the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, and the middle-class gets closer to sliding into lower/poorer-class.

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