Under previous GOP Governors, Ohio had over $1 billion in a rainy day fund. When Gov. Ted Strickland (D) left office in January he not only depleted the entire fund but there was an $8 billion deficit, and the state economy was in the dumps. The liberal Strickland had been elected in 2006 by calling himself “Turnaround Ted” and promising a “jobs revival.”
He then caved into every labor union demand and over 400,000 jobs were lost in 2008 and 2009. The state also lost two Congressional seats in the new census, and companies such as NCR, which was established in Ohio a century ago, moved away.
Now Gov. John Kasich (R) and the GOP legislature have produced a budget to make up the massive deficit Strickland left behind, without tax increases that could strangle economic progress. Kasich’s union-limiting cost control measure has been enacted and this fundamental reform brings significant change to public-employee compensation.
The Governor’s call for merit pay for teachers is being strongly opposed by Democrats and the teachers union. However, it has already been endorsed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Johnson (D) and Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon. They know students should come first, not partisan politics.
Other Kasich proposals include tax reform. If you invest in an Ohio company you would pay no tax on the gain if his plan is enacted. The Governor says “While Ohio’s problems are daunting, I believe they are fixable – but only by creating a business environment that rewards investment and increases wages. I want to create a tax climate that allows Ohio to compete with other states to attract new businesses, foster job creation, and keep our precious, existing jobs here.”