Ohio needs 'shaking up' PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 24 January 2014 10:29
Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 2014 Wood County Republican Party's Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner Thursday, January 23, 2014, at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Ohio is coming back. But, in the words of Governor John Kasich, the state still needs some shaking up.
Kasich was the keynote speaker at the Wood County Republican Party's inaugural Lincoln Day dinner, held at the Stone Ridge Golf Club Thursday.
"My mother always said 'Johnny, you shake it up,'" said Kasich in his address to a packed house.
In a brief interview with press just before his remarks, Kasich opined that Northwest Ohio is "getting better and better and better." He highlighted some of the recent successes for businesses in the area and the state, including Owens-Illinois, Lubrizol and a new Home Depot venture in Wood County.
"These are all wins," he said. "I think across the state we're just doing better."
However, "we're not out of the woods."
Speaking for over 30 minutes, the first-term governor - who has yet to officially kick off his 2014 election campaign - recalled his boyhood in working class McKees Rocks and the words of his mother and father, noting they told him to dream big, and to fight for the underdog.
And Kasich said that he has stayed true to his mother's exhortation to "shake it up," saying he's done so ever since entering public life.
"You're not in there to pass time," he said. "You're not in there to play games."
"I think it's fair to say no one in the state of Ohio can say we haven't shaken it up."
Kasich noted that Ohio was in a sorry state when he took office, faced with an $8 billion deficit and the loss of more than 350,000 jobs in the wake of the recession. He said since then the state has a balanced budget and a $1.4 billion surplus, in addition to a gain of 160,000 jobs.
Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 2014 Wood County Republican Party's Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.
"To have this surplus gives us so much flexibility and so much comfort."
He also spoke highly of others in the state government, lauding them as "a dedicated group of people that work in the administration and they haven't lost any energy."
Kasich highlighted additional successes, including what he said was the largest increase in funding for K-12 education in a decade.
"You know why?" he said of how the money was available. "Management. Manage it smart."
He also discussed the signature Third Grade Reading Guarantee, saying "you will not be socially promoted to the fourth grade until you can read at the third grade level."
However, he turned his spotlight onto other areas that could be improved in Ohio.
Moving back to schools, Kasich said there needs to be "an earth-shaking change in the way that we do education" both statewide and nationally. He supported the idea that children should be introduced to career options early-on, and said that it's being done at some levels. He also spoke about the need to bring back vocational and technical education, noting that everyone is born with different skills and talents.
He further said that businesses should work more closely with schools, and that faith-based organizations should assist with programming he said can change the lives of struggling students.
Kasich also discussed the launch of a program to fight drugs in the state, noting that prescription medications are proving to be a literal gateway drug into heroin addiction. Kasich further stated the need to help those with mental illnesses be successful.
"I think it's an exciting time in our state," said Kasich. "We're going to continue to shake it up."
"As Ronald Reagan used to say, 'You ain't seen nothing yet.'"
(A video of Kasich in Bowling Green can be seen at sent-trib.com.)

Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2014 10:42

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