Kasich gives State of the State address

Jessica White

Gov. John Kasich was joined by hundreds of protestors when he gave his State of the State address this afternoon.

Teachers, firefighters and other union supporters chanted, “Shame on you!” and “Bring back Ted (Strickland)!” in continued opposition to Senate Bill 5.

Kasich briefly mentioned the bill as he proposed a plan to restructure Ohio’s budget, and he asked protestors to be respectful when they “booed” over his voice.

Aside from the removal of collective bargaining rights, Kasich said he plans to restructure the mental health system, Medicaid and criminal sentencing to get some of the low-level offenders out of Ohio’s prison system and into community treatment centers — all to save money.

As for education, Kasich said, “More choice, more accountability, more dollars in the classroom instead of in bureaucracy will improve our schools,” but he didn’t explain what he means or how he will enforce those guidelines.

The governor also said Ohio’s budget deficit can’t be saved by restructuring alone.

“Oh, there will be cuts,” he said. But Kasich said he will try to provide tools to help those who are affected by those cuts.

Jessica White