Taft Looks Ahead

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2003 was a difficult year for Ohio Governor Bob Taft, but he refuses to dwell on it. The governor oversaw budget cuts and a tax increase, while a bond issue he supported was narrowly rejected by voters.

Taft wants to look ahead to putting together a new two-year capital budget, and to keep Ohio's retirement fund solvent.

"We have to pass a bill protecting our state and local retirement workers," the governor told WTAP news this week, "to make sure our retirement systems are well-run, to the advantage and in the interests of our retired workers."

Taft made his remarks while helping to open a nearly 15 mile connector route from Pomeroy, Ohio to Ravenswood, West Virginia.

The governor also said getting rid of the one percent increase in the state income tax would be irresponsible and would hurt state government.

The state legislature approved that tax hike earlier this year, but Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who also wants to run for governor in 2006, is behind a drive to have it repealed.