Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ohio Governor Kasich Emcees Budget Town Hall Meeting

Today was the day that Gov. John Kasich released his 2012/2013 budget. He held a Town Hall Meeting beginning at 6:00 p.m. It lasted three hours. I watched it online at www.KasichForOhio.org. He had several of his administration key team members make presentations of their particular areas of responsibility. He then asked them questions in a very informal manner, sitting on a row of chairs on stage. You could tell he had experience in the TV industry, having had a regular weekend show on the Fox News channel.

Unlike America’s President, Gov. Kasich seemed to be well prepared to lead Ohio. He faced head on the challenge of an $8 billion dollar budget deficit. Our President continues to spend and continues to ignore the massive deficit and debt he helped to significantly increase. 

Much of the shortfall facing Ohio and other states was the fact that Washington, D.C. sent boatloads of stimulus bucks to prop up schools and government. This stimulus money was supposed to have been for infrastructure projects, but ended up being sent to support teacher unions and government workers.

Kasich presented a balanced budget. He and his team made difficult decisions. From what I could gather they trimmed quite a bit from revenue that was previously shared with local governments. The local government will now need to fix their own budget deficits caused by the absence of stimulus monies.

The Kasich team trimmed Medicaid dollars provided to hospitals and nursing homes. Instead they emphasized funding of home care and providing for choice of placement and servies. They are selling five state owned prisons to private firms. They slightly increased funding of education both K-12 and higher education.

In regard to education it was pointed out that Ohio ranks 47th in spending for students in the classroom, but ranks 7th in spending for administration among the states. This is something they want to change. They favor giving parents increased choice in where they send their children.

Overall, my impression is that this new governor means business. He has the knowledge, experience, and team to do the job. He will be fought all the way by various special interest groups who will want their piece of the pie restored. The teachers unions will fight him. The big city mayors will go after him. The ACLU and progressive lawyers will battle his privatizing of some of Ohio prisons. The health care provider associations will fight him on his reduction and redistribution of Medicaid funding.

Ohio is better off because Kasich is governor, then another six years of the liberal stimulus driven spendthrift Democrat Governor Ted Strickland. Now if we could just survive the current regime in Washington until the 2012 Fall Election ...


  1. Anonymous7:59 AM

    kasich needs to go...before 2012 if possible.....

  2. Anonymous9:19 PM

    If he wants to create jobs so bad, maybe he shouldn't have killed off the high speed rail idea.