You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Honda supplier gets state tax credit to bring 85 jobs to Springfield

Kasich, FitzGerald tell differing tales on state budget

Previewing their strategies for the 2014 election, Republican Gov. John Kasich and likely Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald told contrasting stories on Thursday about what the most recent state budget means for Ohioans.

FitzGerald in a news conference highlighted the abortion regulations that Republican lawmakers inserted into the budget late in the budget process. He offered to help form a coalition to try to repeal the measures in November 2014 through a citizen-driven ballot measure called an initiated statute, or to work on overturning them through court challenges.

Kasich later in the day invited reporters to observe his staff deposit a roughly $996 million check into the state’s rainy-day fund — the money is what’s left over after Republican lawmakers used some of a $2 billion surplus from the 2011-2012 state budget to finance tax cuts in the most recent state budget, which Kasich signed earlier this month.*

The rainy-day fund, which is basically the state’s savings account, had only 89 cents in it in 2010 in the throes of the Great Recession. Following Tuesday’s deposit, the fund now holds nearly $1.5 billion.

A large rainy day fund will help the state deal with future economic challenges and add stability to its finances, Kasich administration officials said.

“I don’t think the public really knows about this. I think it has been lost in whatever side issues. The public if they can find out about this will be thrilled,” Kasich said.

Kasich, who left without answering questions from reporters, also talked up the state budget’s income tax cuts, worth $2.6 billion over three years, saying they will help spur economic growth by making Ohio more business-friendly, and recent job growth.

FitzGerald, the executive of Cuyahoga County, has criticized the budget’s tax cuts, saying they are paid for by raising taxes that are disproportionately paid for by poor and middle class such as the sales tax.

But on Thursday, he focused his attention on the abortion-related language in the budget. Among other things, the budget puts Planned Parenthood at the back of the line for federal family planning funds, requires physicians administering abortions to first try to detect a fetal heartbeat and prevents public hospitals from entering into medical transfer agreements with abortion clinics, which could force them to close.

Since the new laws were passed as part of the state budget, they can’t be repealed through a referendum. But opponents could organize what’s called an initiated statute, a process that would allow them to write their own law. If opponents collected 116,000 valid signatures, legislators would have to act on the law — if they defeated it or did nothing, opponents could with more signatures send it to the November 2014 ballot.

“The initiative process is a way to force the debate that was denied before,” FitzGerald said.

FitzGerald said he’d like to undo the tax provisions in the budget, but that doing so would likely be too complicated.

But Republican State Rep. Nan Baker, of Westlake, said FitzGerald and other Democrats are keying in on abortion because they don’t want to talk about Ohio’s improving economy.

“They have nothing else to focus on. They know that our economy is better. They know that we have made steps over the last three or four years to create an environment that gets people back to work. So what are you going to do? You’re going to try to find something you’re going to latch on to,” Baker said.

*This sentence was revised online subsequent to publication to more accurately reflect that the surplus is a result of the 2011-2012 state budget.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Springfield asks voters for tax increase to fix roads, fight drugs
Springfield asks voters for tax increase to fix roads, fight drugs

Springfield city leaders want to increase local income taxes to maintain services, fix roads and hire more police officers, but opponents believe it will make the city less attractive for prospective residents and businesses. Residents will vote May 2 whether to raise the city’s income tax for 5½ years from 2 percent to 2.4 percent. &ldquo...
Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off
Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off

The city of Springfield won’t be resuming its red light camera program any time soon, despite Dayton’s proposal to turn its red-light and speed-detection cameras back on later this month to improve safety at intersections. Springfield leaders have said they won’t turn the city’s cameras back on until the issue is settled statewide...
Jon Husted takes steps toward run for Ohio governor
Jon Husted takes steps toward run for Ohio governor

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s as-yet-unannounced bid for governor moved forward today with the announcement that his office’s press secretary would join the Husted for Ohio campaign. Josh Eck said his last day in the office was today and he will become a spokesman for the campaign. “I have been a fan of Jon Husted’s since...
Supreme Court orders refunds for people whose criminal convictions are overturned
Supreme Court orders refunds for people whose criminal convictions are overturned

People who are freed from prison when their convictions are reversed deserve a refund of what they paid in fees, court costs and restitution, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.  "They are entitled to be presumed innocent" once their convictions are thrown out, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the state "has zero claim"...
Turner, state lawmakers upset state declined money for Wright-Patt
Turner, state lawmakers upset state declined money for Wright-Patt

Area lawmakers are upset Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was shut out of a share of $5 million in state aid vowed changes Thursday to a state panel that decided to split the money for projects at two Ohio Air National Guard bases. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner and state Reps. Niraj Antani and Rick Perales spoke at a Thursday press conference about their frustrations...
More Stories