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Jobs, education focus of Kasich speech in BG PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Monday, 10 June 2013 15:29
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Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks to Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce members. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Education and jobs were the focus as Gov. John Kasich trod the boards at the Wolfe Center’s Donnell Theatre at Bowling Green University Monday.
Kasich spoke before a gathering of Chamber of Commerce members, local dignitaries and area residents.
“We have all that it takes,” Kasich said of what he described as a resurgent Ohio. “And it’s my purpose to make Ohio number one.”
Speaking extemporaneously as he roamed the theatre’s stage, Kasich began by noting that nearly three years ago, when he took office, Ohio faced an $8 billion budget deficit, and had lost more than 350,000 jobs in the economic downturn. Ohio was ranked as the 44th business-friendly state in the nation.
“To me, jobs are the most important thing,” he said, explaining that jobs help keep families together and improve the economy.
After changes in tax policies and other governmental management under his administration, Kasich announced that the state will have a $2 billion surplus, and has created 147,000 jobs. Ohio is currently ranked 22nd in business-friendliness.
“People now are trying to look at Ohio” as an option for business, he said.
“We’re doing better. We’ve got surpluses rather than deficits,” but he is resisting the temptation to “take your foot off the gas.”
“We now have momentum,” Kasich explained.
He said there is a plan to increase K-12 education funding by $1.2 billion, and to focus on graduation rates as a funding model for higher education. Under this plan, half of a college’s funding would be dependent on the number of students it graduates.
“We don’t want people to go to school and then don’t get out.”
As for a proposed Medicare expansion in the state, Kasich spoke in favor of it, noting how the program could assist the mentally ill, and those suffering from addiction.
“Families that have this problem, it’s devastating,” he said.
During his nearly hour-long talk, Kasich additionally took a number of questions from the audience, ranging from his thoughts on proposals to defund family planning – “I’m pro-life,” he said, “so we’ll have to see how this proceeds” through the legislature – to his take on the spate of recent scandals facing the Obama Administration.
“When you forget you are there to serve, not to be served,” there is “just a level of arrogance that gets you in trouble,” he said.
“I certainly hope we can avoid anything like this” in the state.
“My whole purpose in this job is to help everyone rise,” Kasich added.
Responding to one question on education funding, he said that “I would really like to see more credit at the University level for people with real work experience,” and discussed a program that would expose young children to the idea of careers early-on.
“We want children to understand what their passions are,” he said, later noting that in education “there seems to be a disconnect between ‘who do I have to take this’ and ‘what am I going to do?’”
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 15:37
 

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