State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today reacted to Governor’s Kasich’s State of the State address, agreeing that the spirit of Ohio is embodied in those teachers, carpenters and business owners that struggle to make it every day.  

“I agree with the governor that we need recognize the hard work of average Ohioans who struggle every day,” said Boccieri. “Better investment in public education, prioritizing workforce retraining and supporting our men and women serving in the military are universal policies that we can all agree on. It's a common bond we share in the buckeye state.” 

However, Boccieri found less room for consensus on the governor's economic outlook.

“We are on shaky footing economically,” the Poland lawmaker said. “In the past five years, the Mahoning Valley has lost millions in Local Government Fund revenue and our communities have suffered as a result. We still have a lot of work to do to raise middle class wages, invest more in our workforce and secure solid funding for our community schools, infrastructure and the like. I hope the governor has a plan to address these priorities quickly so Ohioans can get back on their feet.”

Since his return to the legislature, Rep. Boccieri has witnessed the devastating impact cuts to local government funding has had on communities. Gov. Kasich has cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding during his tenure, money that cities and towns use to pay for emergency personnel, pave roads and deliver clean water, and provide a quality public education to our children. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year because the state continues to keep more revenue instead of sending it back to the local communities in which it is generated. 32 Ohio cities are on the state’s fiscal distress list because of inadequate finances needed to provide basic services and meet fiscal obligations.  

Rep. Boccieri was particularly disappointed that the governor failed to mention the water contamination crisis in Sebring, Ohio.

“We can all agree that access to safe, reliable drinking water should be an essential government service,” Boccieri stated.

Rep. Boccieri did note that he strongly supports the governor’s initiatives on community policing, as well as efforts to make college more affordable through the college credit plus program. The program, combined with aligning job training needs with school curriculum content, will help match the employment needs of Ohioans with current gaps in the workforce.

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