Gov. Taft used his sixth State of the State speech to push a modest jobs program while calling on lawmakers to pass several pro-business bills.
Taft, a Republican, says he'll soon send lawmakers legislation that provides more training of workers to companies in Ohio or those considering moving here. The two programs will cost about $14 million a year, a fraction of the overall state budget.
Taft also says he'll create a nonprofit company to help market Ohio as a place to do business. He's also forming two committees to study ways to save military jobs and help out-of-work employees.
House Speaker Larry Householder called the speech a "tweaking" of several current jobs proposals before lawmakers. He says Taft's proposals are reasonable and likely to be supported, but one issue even the Governor suggests might be difficult is one that he proposed a year ago: tax reform.
"We know that tax reform is hard to do, hard in a budget year, hard in an election year," Taft said in his address. "But it must be done. So let's roll up our sleeves and get it done this year."
Another piece of Taft's plan could prove challenging. He wants lawmakers to put limits on injury lawsuits against businesses, but House Republicans have been reluctant to move on such legislation.