Boccieri: Real State Of The State Shows Ohio Losing Ground To Too Many Other States
Ohioans continue to miss out on economic growth and opportunity
 
 

Ohio House Democratic lawmakers this evening responded to Gov. Kasich’s annual State of the State address in Westerville, Ohio. Though the governor touted a comeback for the Buckeye State, House Democrats noted that Ohioans disproportionately face lower quality-of-life standards than the rest of the nation. 


“Governor Kasich painted a great picture of Ohio under his leadership, but the facts are stubborn,” said state Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland). “14 of the last 18 years, Republicans have controlled Ohio’s government. Ohio has seven of the nation’s top 100 cities; however, eight out of 10 of Ohio’s largest cities are economically distressed. 


After the last 7 years of total Republican control of state government, Ohio has dropped from 5th to 22nd in education, and ranks first in student debt and near last in college affordability. Though the state has seen an uptick in high school graduation rates in recent years, rates for minority students remain among the worst in the country.


“What I find more troubling is the opioid epidemic. Governor Kasich has stalled community intervention because of devastating budget cuts to local governments. Ohio ranks second worst in the nation for cuts to local government funds, and this has crippled a local response to this public health crisis. Ohioans are leaving the state in search of jobs to accommodate the rise in these costs. We need to provide the right resources for local governments to combat the opioid crisis. We need to invest in small businesses to help jumpstart Ohio’s economy. We need to tie our curriculum to our local economy to ensure Ohio will have a competitive workforce," said Boccieri. 


Despite funding increases in the state budget to fight the state’s ongoing opioid crisis, deaths from opioid-related overdoses rose by 39 percent last year, nearly triple the national average. Ongoing issues with infant mortality and access to health care for women, infants and children, among other factors, rank the Buckeye State 39th in the nation in overall health.


Ohio’s job growth has trailed the national average for five straight years, and in 2017 ranked 33rd overall in job growth. In the past decade, middle class Ohioans have seen the sixth worst decline in wages as share of total income among U.S. states. In addition, Ohio incomes have dropped more than six percent in recent decades, which ranks worse than all but three other states. 

 
 
 
  
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