Our View: Rock the vote

DKS Editors

The sight at the Statehouse Tuesday was unlike any in recent memory as Gov. John Kasich gave his first State of the State address.

Hundreds of people flooded the halls of the Statehouse, while an even larger group gathered outside.

They were all protesting for the same reason — Senate Bill 5.

Senate Bill 5, a Republican-backed article of legislation, was passed last week by a vote of 17 to 16. The bill dramatically limits bargaining rights and bans strikes of an estimated 350,000 public workers that include teachers, police officers and firefighters.

Chants such as, “Kill the bill” and “Shame on you” were bellowed throughout the governor’s speech.

Although the crowd of people has died down, their message will continue to be delivered as Kasich attempts to dramatically alter Ohio’s economy.

Senate President Tom Niehaus simply addressed the issue by saying, “Change is hard.”

That’s easy for a public official to say. Public workers across the state, as well as their families, will have their lives changed for good.

And what was Kasich’s response to the crowd’s disgust?

There was none.

He continued to stress the importance of patience in the minds of Ohioans and attempted to gain support from his countless critics.

Kasich’s speech was simple and to the point. He did not go into detail about plans to reform Ohio but will release them with his state-spending blueprint March 15. His anecdotes and quoting John F. Kennedy could not even mend the rift between public workers and himself.

When Kasich took office, lower and middle class citizens feared the new governor’s legislation would affect their way of life. He put that notion to bed yesterday as he promised Ohio citizens would get the income tax promised to them two years ago.

It was obvious during his first major address that Kasich was on his heels. He’s well aware his support has decreased since Senate Bill 5 was proposed, and his actions in the coming year will determine the state of Ohio’s economy for years to come.

While he spoke with confidence, it was obvious he was trying to prove to Ohioans that they made the correct choice by electing him. Only time will tell if Senate Bill 5 makes or breaks Kasich’s term of office.