MEDINA, Ohio- Today, State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) listened to Gov. Kasich lay out his priorities and recap some past policies during his State of the State address in Medina, Ohio. Gov. Kasich used the Medina venue as an opportunity to herald a state economy that has come to a grinding halt over the last year. Ohio trailed the nation in job creation over the last year, leaving 416,000 Ohioans unemployed. Ohio is one of four states in the country whose economy is not expanding according to the Federal Reserve, and Ohio finished 2013 as 45th in the nation for job creation.


“It’s ironic that the Governor boasted about Ohio’s expanding economy during his speech, yet Ohio trailed the nation in job creation last year,” said Rep. Ashford. “This year the governor cut taxes for the rich and he’s pushing for even more tax cuts that favor top income earners – all the while half of Ohioans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Our communities will continue to fall behind as long as our governor caters to the wealthy while standing on the backs of the middle class.”


Gov. Kasich also talked taxes during the event, promising to further cut Ohio’s income tax—a move that favors the very wealthiest. Since Gov. Kasich dished out his first round of tax breaks targeted at the wealthy—middle and working class Ohioans have felt the effects of his sales and property tax increases across the state.


Kasich offered no plans to prioritize schools and local communities after his initial historic state budget cuts of $2 billion and $1 billion, respectively. Instead, the Governor seemed to gloss over the lack of investment, focusing on new “deregulation” initiatives that seem to indicate a stronger corporate presence in Ohio schools. The Kasich administration has yet to offer any steps in working to fix Ohio’s unconstitutional school funding formula.


Gov. Kasich also tried his hand at conveying an understanding of Ohio’s impoverished population, yet more than 10,000 vulnerable Ohioans were stripped of their SNAP benefits last year due to his new restrictions. As of 2013, Ohio was the 7th most impoverished state in the US with over 1.8 million Ohioans living below the poverty line.


 

 
 
 
  
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