COLUMBUS – Governor John Kasich addressed education reform, tax cuts and economic development during a legislative preview session on Jan. 30 organized by The Associated Press.
Initially, Kasich took a moment to address the crucial topic of education, which he hinted would play a role in his upcoming State of the State address scheduled for Feb. 24 in Medina.
“I have lots of thoughts about how to make education a lot more relevant to our students,” he said. “We lose 24,000 students a year. We have a million Ohioans who don’t have a degree. I absolutely believe that a thoroughly reformed education system that taps into students’ passions and gifts is not only a way to help students to have passion, get a job and improve their lives, but I also happen to believe that it is one of the significant answers to our seemingly intractable problem of poverty.”
Kasich then emphasized his administration’s ability to balance the Ohio budget while simultaneously cutting taxes.
“We also of course have our balanced budget, which is pretty remarkable considering we were $8 billion in the hole and our surplus is now $1.4 billion,” he said. “And we’ve been able to cut taxes. And there are some I’m sure here that think tax cuts are sort of a political thing, but believe me you get more votes and more applause by spending money than you do by cutting taxes. Because cutting taxes is like planting seeds that do not yield a harvest for a long period of time.”
In keeping with his ongoing message of fiscal responsibility, Governor Kasich signed a resolution in Lima last November challenging federal government officials to balance their budget, which will be sent to President Barack Obama and Congress, as well as governors of the other 49 states.
Kasich, who is up for re-election in November, said that the cuts were crucial due to their overwhelming impact on the economy.
“Tax cuts to me are very important, not only because it allows the power to be driven from the bottom up, people have more in their pockets, but it’s also an important message to our most successful that don’t leave Ohio,” said Kasich. “And additionally its an important message to those people who are thinking of investing in our state.
And while expanding on his opinion, Kasich stated that incentives don’t make the biggest difference in a company’s decision to gravitate towards Ohio.
“I have found increasingly that the fact that we’re balanced, we’re structurally sound and we’re running a surplus gets the attention of CEO’s,” he said. “The things that we offer here in our state are stability, the ease of doing business, our commitment o job training, our location, our diversity, and our education system that can train people.”
He then took on questions on a wide scope of topics ranging from a moratorium on the death penalty and his outlook on the 2016 presidential race.