Gov. DeWine to outline state budget plan, goals during State of the State

Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio desperately needs more highway money but stops short of endorsing calls for an increase in the state gasoline tax. BROOKE LAVALLEY / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

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Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio desperately needs more highway money but stops short of endorsing calls for an increase in the state gasoline tax. BROOKE LAVALLEY / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

DeWine will give State of the State address at noon

Gov. Mike DeWine will deliver his first State of the State address Tuesday afternoon, likely outlining his upcoming budget and detailing his vision for Ohio’s future.

The speech will focus on familiar topics: early childhood development, public health issues, the opioid addiction crisis, protecting Lake Erie and more, DeWine said.

Ohio is trailing the nation when it comes to college affordability, pre-K enrollment, youth incarceration, child poverty, overdose deaths, infant mortality and other key metrics, according to 28-page report from One Ohio Now, a coalition of 100 human service, labor and advocacy groups.

“An improving economy alone cannot fix Ohio’s most pressing needs. Despite improvements in job growth in 2018, Ohio continues to struggle with high rates of hunger, infant mortality and poverty,” the report said. “Without new investments and strategies to address these issues, Ohio will fall further behind the rest of the nation.”

DeWine may also make his case for an increase in Ohio’s gas tax to fix the state’s roads and infrastructure.

DeWine has signaled that he plans to invest in programs that impact at-risk kids, including foster care and public health home visits for new moms and babies. He also installed top aides to focus on children’s initiatives and drug addiction recovery efforts. Last week he said he wants his new director of the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton, to use the bully pulpit to focus on public health issues that cut across society.

Related: Once homeless, doctor now to head state health department

More details of DeWine’s goals are expected to be embedded in his first two-year budget proposal, which is due to the Ohio House by March 15. It’ll detail school funding formulas, tax rates and changes, college affordability measures, revenue to be shared with local governments, and more.

DeWine said he plans to unveil portions of the budget in the days leading up to the March 15 deadline.

“By the time it’s out, it’ll be very boring reading for you,” he told Statehouse reporters. “We will basically try to keep you and the public informed as to once we make decisions, what those decisions will be.”

Related: DeWine signs six executive orders after taking office: What are they?

Related: DeWine promises to fight opioid addiction crisis, focus on children

Former Republican Gov. John Kasich delivered his first State of the State address at the Ohio Statehouse but then made the annual speech into a road show in subsequent years. Kasich’s cabinet, lawmakers and news crews traveled to Steubenville, Marietta, Sandusky, Lima and other cities for Kasich’s addresses.

While Kasich eschewed the use of a Teleprompter or extensive notes, DeWine is expected to follow a written speech.

DeWine is returning the event to the Ohio House chambers for Tuesday’s event.


TEAM COVERAGE

Our Columbus Bureau reporter Laura Bischoff and Newscenter 7’s Jim Otte will be in Columbus today for the governor’s address. Here’s how you can follow their coverage:

Watch live: You can watch Gov. DeWine's address live Tuesday starting at noon on our newspaper website and on our Ohio Politics Facebook page.

Speak out: Go to our Ohio Politics Facebook page to speak out on the issues that matter to you.

On Twitter: Get the latest updates during the address. at @Ohio_Politics

On Radio: Listen to a repeat of the governor's address Tuesday at 8 p.m. on AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO

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