Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gave his annual State of the State address Tuesday to the Ohio General Assembly.
The words “children” and “families” showed up 75 times in DeWine’s speech, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of his remarks as prepared. The only words that showed up more were “Ohio” and “Will” — the latter referencing all the promises he was making.
Below are the key themes from his speech, and specific pledges and proposals he made.
DeWine said he wants to:
Children and families
1. Create a $2,500 per child state tax deduction, and repeal the state’s sales tax on infant supplies such as diapers, wipes, cribs, strollers and safety equipment.
2. Give 15,000 more Ohio children access to high-quality childcare.
3. Cover all adopted children under Medicaid, a benefit currently only available to children adopted through public children services agencies.
4. Create a new cabinet-level agency called the Department of Children and Youth to focus on the physical health of mothers and children; children’s behavioral health; foster care; and early childhood education.
5. Provide funding to allow all schools across the state to have a school resource officer.
6. Launch a historic expansion of the EdChoice program to allow more children to attend charter schools, and increase funding for those schools. Under his proposal, families at or below 400% of the federal poverty level will qualify EdChoice scholarships. He also wants to increase funding for charter schools by $3,000 per economically-disadvantaged student, and double per pupil facilities funding to $1,000 per student.
7. Invest $300 million of one-time funding for capital improvements and equipment for career tech schools across Ohio.
8. Increase college financial aid, providing a $5,000 a year scholarship for all Ohio high schoolers graduating in the top 5% of their class to attend a college or university in Ohio, and creating and expanding need-based scholarships.
9. Create a “All Ohio Futures Fund” with a $2.5 billion investment to prepare the infrastructure of large economic development sites across Ohio in order to lure large corporate investments and create jobs.
10. Create a State of Ohio Action for Resiliency (SOAR) Network to research and implement solutions to address mental health issues, and provide additional funding for several mental health programs.
11. Create Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Single Family Housing Tax Credit to stimulate the construction of affordable housing, as well as a state savings account program to help Ohioans save for down payments and other qualified housing expenses with reduced state tax consequences.
12. Appoint a task force to study issues surrounding nursing home quality.
13. Provide $40 million a year for law enforcement training on things like de-escalation and crisis intervention for someone with mental illness; fund improvements to the 911 system statewide; and help more first responder agencies update their radio systems.
14. Expand the H2Ohio program with a “Rivers Initiative” to preserve the health of Ohio’s rivers.
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