Updated: State Of State Doesn't Solve Ohio Budget Mystery

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich has provided few specifics on how he's going to fill an $8 billion budget gap despite giving one of the longest state of the state addresses in recent memory.

The Republican says he'll preserve an income tax cut that went into effect in January -- a decision requiring his budgeteers to find or cut another $850 million. He won't be relying on federal stimulus and other one-time funds responsible for much of the hole in the two-year, $50.5 billion budget.

Kasich indicated Tuesday the changes he's preparing to announce will be bold -- perhaps involving consolidation of agency functions and privatization of government services.

He spoke while protesters opposed to a bill restricting collective bargaining rights for public sector workers shouted at the House Chamber.

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- Gov. John Kasich says even bigger changes are coming to Ohio than have been seen over his first seven weeks, when government economic development work was privatized and the legislature began the process of stripping 350,000 unionized public employees of many bargaining rights.

The Republican Governor said during his first state of the state address Tuesday that he won't raise taxes to balance the budget he releases next week.

He told a packed House chamber that the program cuts it includes will only be a starting point to getting the state's economy back on track and shrinking state government. He says creativity and innovation are needed.

Public employees who support collective bargaining rights booed and shouted at Kasich during his speech. Outside, several thousand protesters chanted, "shame on you."

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- Gov. John Kasich says in his first state of the state speech that he won't raise taxes during the upcoming budget debate.

Kasich says Ohio can't tax its way out of its economic problems and can't cut its way out through budget reductions.

The Republican elected last year says he'll propose government restructuring in his budget next week, though he isn't providing details.

Kasich also says he'll include changes to Ohio's criminal sentencing laws in his budget to save money by reducing the number of people returning to prison.

Hundreds of protesters angry about gop plans to reduce collective bargaining for public employees are inside the statehouse watching the speech and boos and shouts can be heard as Kasich delivers his address.

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- For the first time in recent memory, an Ohio Governor's state of the state speech is expected to be met with raucous political demonstrations on the statehouse steps.

Newly elected Republican Gov. John Kasich was to deliver his first major policy address at noon Tuesday. State lawmakers, justices, statewide officials and Kasich's cabinet are attending.

Democrats and labor groups have scheduled a rally to begin 30 minutes beforehand, with loud music and chanting likely. Thousands of union laborers, teachers, firefighters and police officers are expected in the fourth week of protests of a bill limiting collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.

The bill is up in House committee Tuesday afternoon.

Tea party supporters plan a counter-protest aimed at supporting Kasich and the Republicans who are pushing union reforms.

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- Outcry over collective bargaining proposals in Ohio is threatening to overshadow the first state of the state speech by Republican Gov. John Kasich.

The speech is Tuesday, the day a bill limiting collective bargaining rights for 350,000 public workers begins its trip through the Ohio House. The bill cleared the Senate last week.

The AFL-CIO plans a statehouse rally starting a half-hour before Kasich's address, which begins at noon Tuesday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees set the stage Monday with a "state of the worker" event. A handful of public workers drew attention to benefit reductions and unpaid furlough days agreed to by public employee unions under current contracts.

National tea party groups also plan an event Tuesday supporting Kasich and the bill.

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich plans to give his biggest speech of the year on March 8, as the state faces an estimated $8 billion budget gap.

Kasich's office said Wednesday the Ohio House has approved the date for the new Republican Governor's first state of the state address.

The speech will likely offer a glimpse at how Kasich plans to deal with the shortfall in his budget plan due out a week later. He has promised deep cuts and is receiving criticism from unions for his support of a bill that would abolish collective bargaining rights for state employees, a move he says would help state coffers.

(Copyright 2011 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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