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Watch Gov. DeWine deliver the State of the State address

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) and Roger Geiger, state executive director in Ohio for National Federation of Independent Business Inc.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) and Roger Geiger, state executive director in Ohio for National Federation of Independent Business Inc.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) will unveil details of his two-year state operating budget proposal in his annual State of the State address Tuesday.

The speech will be his first State of the State since winning re-election and starting his second term as Ohio governor.

Watch the governor's address starting at noon ET.

DeWine said he made the final decisions for his budget Wednesday and the plan will show his administration is heading in the same direction with the same priorities.

“The only difference really is going to be we were going 50 miles an hour. And, you know, I think when you look at the budget, you'll see we're trying to go about 100 miles an hour,” said DeWine.

Economic growth, job creation and workforce development have been key areas mentioned by DeWine in the past two months. He suggested those issues will likely be reflected in his speech.

He said the “challenge remains — making sure every Ohioan has the training, the education that they need so they can get a good job and live their American dreams.”

Budget talks during House GOP rift

DeWine was asked how the rift among House Republican caucusmembers has affected the budget drafting process.

House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) won the speakership but with only 22 Republican votes — the rest came from House Democrats. Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) lost the speakership vote but had the support of more than two-thirds of the Republican caucus.

DeWine said he is not going to get in the middle of theleadership fight in the Ohio House. As for budget discussions, he said he had talks with many different members about certain issues.

When asked if he talked to Stephens about the budget, DeWine said “not in specifics.”

“We have a proposal, that's just the way the system works. We propose it. We send it to the legislature. I get the opportunity on Tuesday to explain some of it and talk about it and advocate for it and then they have the chance to work on it,” said DeWine.

Stephens said the House is ready to greet the governor for his State of the State address.

Ohio House Democrats want to see spending emphasis on people and mental health

The leader of the Ohio House Democratic caucus has laid out the issues her members want to hear about in Gov. Mike DeWine’s State of the State address Tuesday.

Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), House Democratic caucus leader, said Ohio has seen many opportunities over the past year that can lead to growth and improvement, such as the Intel project in central Ohio.

However, Russo added that there are still several areas that still need a lot of attention through both policy and spending.

She said the state has a large prosperity gap and that investments through the two-year operating budget can help.

“This is about making sure that we are making the right investments in people so that both our students – as well as those individuals who are in communities that have not yet experienced this prosperity – that everyone has opportunity to thrive here,” Russo said.

Russo said she has agreed with spending more state money on mental health resources, along with other areas of investment.

She added that state leaders must prioritize spending that lead to better outcomes in affordable housing, education, and health care.

DeWine has focused on early childhood development and expanded services for kids in school. Russo said there’s still “a lot more work to do” in that area.

“The reality is we still have a large number of children in the state who live in deep poverty. We have much work that needs to be done in terms of making sure that we've got schools that are well resourced for our students and all communities,” said Russo.

Contact Andy at achow@statehousenews.org.