Kasich delivers "State of the State" in Medina
MEDINA, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's governor is pledging a new round of tax cuts.
Governor John Kasich says he wants to cut Ohioans' personal income taxes and the taxes paid by small businesses. Kasich announced the proposal Monday during his annual State of the State speech held this year in Medina. The $62 billion, two-year state budget Kasich signed in June cut Ohio's income tax rates by 8.5 percent in 2013, another half percent in 2014 and another 1 percent in 2015. These were Ohio's first downward revisions since 2009. Kasich says tax cuts are key to fueling the state's economic recovery and to keep people from leaving Ohio.
The Governor also announced a plan to tie higher education funding to course completion and graduation rates at the state's publicly funded colleges and universities.
The plan puts the right incentives in place for students and colleges to work together to achieve the goals of success and a job after graduation. He said under details of the plan first announced last year, universities won't receive a portion of their per-pupil funding until the student has graduated. It moves incentives away from enrollment and toward finishing a degree.
Kasich detailed a plan to give free academic credits to veterans for the training and experience they received during military service as well.
The Governor says the training veterans received from the Armed Forces has prepared them for many of Ohio's most in-demand jobs. Kasich stated that veterans deserve thanks for the sacrifices they've made as they re-enter civilian life, saying those who have driven a truck from Kabul to Kandahar have earned the right to drive a truck from Cleveland to Columbus.
The Governor also announced a new plan to fight smoking in the state.
Kasich says Ohio was once a national leader in reducing the number of people who smoke and needs to take the cause up again. He said he is dedicating new tobacco settlement dollars in the fight against the addiction of smoking to help drive down medical costs and improve Ohioans' health. Kasich's proposal didn't include dollar amounts or details on the plan.