COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the first time since being elected to his second term, Gov. Mike DeWine is giving his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the Ohio General Assembly.
“We meet at a time of great opportunity for Ohio," Gov. DeWine said as he began his noon speech at the Ohio House Chamber of the Statehouse.
NOTE: The State of the State is happening right now, and you can watch it live in the video at the top of this story.
As expected, Gov. DeWine primarily focused on the state's budget through a variety of topics.
“The budget that I will present to you today, reflects the moral imperative we have to see that all Ohioans are fully educated – and therefore, every Ohioan will have the tools to live up to their full God-given potential," he said.
You can watch the entire State of the State address in the player below:
Here are some highlights from Gov. DeWine's State of the State with a focus on impacts of the proposed budget...
- While highlighting his proposed budget, Gov. DeWine asked for the state sales tax to be repealed on critical infant supplies like diapers, wipes, cribs, car seats, strollers and safety equipment.
- He asked for the state to enact a per-child state tax deduction of $2,500.
- He noted that 51 percent of Ohio’s children from birth to age 5 are now enrolled in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Gov. DeWine said this means 366,000 Ohio children are receiving a free book in the mail through the program every single month.
- Gov. DeWine says the proposed budget would offer all schools – public and private – with additional state funding to help provide a school resource officer.
- Increases the per-pupil facilities funding for all charter schools from $500 to $1,000.
- “To reach more students and to provide better training for 21st century jobs, our budget will invest $300 million of one-time funding for capital improvements and equipment for our career tech education across the state of Ohio," Gov. DeWine said.
- “To reward academic excellence, if you are in the top 5 percent of your high school graduating class wherever you go to high school in the state of Ohio, we plan to reward you with a $5,000 a year scholarship also renewable for each of four years if you choose to attend college in the state of Ohio."
JOBS & DEVELOPMENT
- All-Ohio Future Fund: "A one-time investment that will provide a lifetime of returns. We will make an unprecedented $2.5 billion investment to prepare the infrastructure of large economic development sites located in every single part of the state of Ohio.”
- "In this budget, we will invest an additional $150 million to create new innovation hubs in regions throughout the state of Ohio. These hubs will bring together each community’s strengths to encourage more economic development and attract the very best talent.”
"The budget that I am releasing today is centered on building a community care system that increases prevention efforts."
Gov. DeWine said his mental health plan will focus on the following:
- Offering better crisis response services and treatment options.
- Growing our behavioral health workforce.
- Focusing on research and innovation.
This includes a one-time investment to expand the capacity of pediatric behavioral health care system to address a shortage of professionals serving children, according to Gov. DeWine.
LAW ENFORCEMENT & SAFETY
- In addition to more resources for body cameras, Gov. DeWine says the budget includes $40 million per year for continuous training for Ohio law enforcement officers. This includes training in de-escalation, use-of-force to crisis intervention for someone with a mental health illness. “Training matters and we must invest in it.”
- Gov. DeWine said the budget will also invest in a next generation 911 system: This will route your cell phone calls directly to local dispatchers and uses your GPS to help determine your exact location.
Last year's State of the State speech marked the first time Gov. DeWine delivered the address since March 5, 2019, which had been canceled for two years due to COVID concerns.
Looking back, topics that were highlighted during the 2022 State of the State address included:
- Law enforcement
- Quality of life in Ohio
- Jobs and manufacturing
- Mental health
You can watch that full speech in the video below and read expanded text from what he said by clicking HERE.
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