Category Archives: Governor

Kasich Administration To Invest $350k To Better Coordinate Prenatal Care

The Governor’s Office of Health Transformation announced yesterday that it would partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Partners for Kids to replicate in Southeastern Ohio a Mansfield program that has show great strides in improving the health of at-risk mothers and their babies. (see Mansfield Journal News, DFeb. 3 2012)

Founded in 1999, the Community Health Access Project (CHAP) has achieved a 30-percent reduction in the risk for low-weight births in Richland County. The project uses a Community Pathway Model to improve health and preventative care for high-risk mothers and children in difficult-to-serve areas. It coordinates care for individuals within targeted medical “pathways,” such as medication assessment, smoking cessation and pregnancy and postpartum care.

OHT will join with Partners for Kids to use community liaisons to check on at-risk pregnant women to ensure that they are getting the preventive care they need and also help with non-medical needs such as transportation or housing.

In announcing OHT’s $350,000 investment to replicate the program for Medicaid beneficiaries in Appalachia, Director Greg Moody said the model was selected because it has improved outcomes and reduced costs.

“This initiative fits perfectly with the governor’s objectives to improve care coordination for vulnerable Ohioans and to pay for value, not volume, in health care,” Moody said.

Source: Health Policy Review Feb. 3, 2012

Gov. Kasich’s 2011 Year End Review


2011 Year in Review: Summary

When Governor John R. Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor took office one year ago, Ohio faced historic challenges. Over 400,000 jobs were lost in the previous four years, unemployment peaked and remained at 10.6 percent between August 2009 and February 2010, and the state faced an $8 billion budget shortfall going into Fiscal Year 2012. For Gov. Kasich, job creation has been priority number one from day one. With his vision, Ohio has begun making the necessary government reforms to cultivate a jobs-friendly environment so Ohioans can get back to work, and our state can start moving in the right direction.

See JobsOhio Year-End Summary

Governor John Kaisch’s Labor Day Proclamation

The first Monday of September has been dedicated to honoring the social and economic achievements of the American worker and stands as a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our state and country.

Labor Day is a time for all Ohioans to reflect upon the skill, leadership, initiative and ingenuity that our state’s workers display every day to support their families, improve their communities and help cultivate an economic climate in which all Ohioans can thrive and prosper.

Ohioans should pause and remember all of the dedicated workers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty and constantly strive to foster safe, healthy and productive work environments for employees and employers.

Ohio workers, in partnership with their employers, strive to remain competitive in an increasingly global economy that requires a well-educated and highly trained workforce that understands the value of life-long learning as a way to constantly upgrade skills.

Ohio owes a debt of gratitude to the previous generations of Ohioans who worked with an unwavering commitment to create prosperity and stability, and whose hard work sustained our state in times of uncertainty and hardship. We, in turn, owe it to future generations of Ohio workers to create a state in which their hard work can be rewarded and in which they and their families can succeed.

Now, therefore, I, John R. Kasich, Governor of the State of Ohio, do hereby recognize September 5, 2011 as Labor Day throughout Ohio and encourage all Ohioans to enjoy their holiday while reflecting upon the achievements that Ohio’s working men and women contribute to our states workforce and economy throughout the year.

The above is not the official proclamation. It was edited and reformatted version to make the proclamation easier to read. To see the official version, go to the Governor of Ohio website (

Gov. Kaisch’s State Budget: The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good

In my opinion, Gov. Kaisch is not the handsomest dude on the planet. I suspect his wife may have a different opinion.

What the governor lacks in appearance he makes up in statesmanship. His speech to the legislators on the budget was downright inspirational. Not only that but he even dared to praise the members of the opposing party for their work and accomplishments on a number of issues.

It almost made me cry.

I did say–almost!

Seriously, the budget itself is a mixed bag of missed opportunities (the bad) and a number of advancements for Ohioans and their economy (the good). Of course, it all depends on who you talk to, or, in this case, whose report you read.

According to the report by Matt Mayer, President of the Buckeye Institute, the governor’s budget missed some important opportunities. The bad news is the general revenue fund will be $1.26 billion greater for 2012 than in 2011 and $1.73 billion for 2013. That is a biennium increase of 12 percent. This is the second highest increase since 1990.

So how can the Governor increase spending with an $8 billion deficit? According to Mayer, the governor’s budget shows total revenues exceeding the deficit by $8 billion, which causes Mayer a lot of concern. It shows Gov. Kaisch has chosen to continue the same old policies of the past that eventually resulted in the present fiscal crisis.

Equally disturbing is the governor’s cuts to local governments. Instead of innovating new strategy to fund both state and local governance, the governor chose the slash-and-burn approach. This easy money strategy doesn’t reduce the size of state government and thus return local tax dollars back to local governments who must continue or fund new programs. Gov. Kaisch simply cuts funding to local governments to increase spending and balance the budget.

The $5 million budget deficit proposed by Xenia city and school officials may be nothing more than advanced notice of the state budget cuts. On the other hand, the budget deficit could be the typical 10% inflation budget estimates for contingency purposes; all institutions increase budget estimates for unforeseen costs. Budgets are based on previous year revenues, expenditures, known issues that will increase costs, plus 10% for unknown costs usually in addition to a contingency fund for emergencies.

Be that as it may, Mayer wishes Gov. Kaisch would have made the difficult choice of cut government employee compensation a little as well as cut the executive and legislative branch budgets. If he had cut the death tax, the bill making away through both houses, he would have as much money to spend, and many others will wish he had less money to throw at his program agendas.

Mayer did find some good in the Gov. Kaisch’s budget. The governor made noteworthy strides in such areas as prison reform, healthcare cost containment, and education funding. He included alternative sentencing approaches to non-violent offender that along with reforms nursing home service costs to Medicare will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Some think his nursing home reforms are ugly and bad too.

Gov. Kaisch chalked up a few more good points with a number of his educational reforms. For example, his “support for Teach for America and doubling of EdChoice scholarships are vital lifelines to the most vulnerable and will inject more competition into our broken K-12 system.” Scraping the previous governor’s unfunded, evidenceless, one-size-fits-all Evidence Based School-Improvement Model will end the veiled attempt to increase dues-paying membership for unions. At the college level, the governor calls for professors to use fewer assistants for classroom instruction and a three-year degree. (Here, it is assumed that also means high schools will be required to ensure college-bound student meet the once first year prerequisites whether through coursework in high schools, college campuses, or virtual schools. That in itself would not only save a lot of money but would also be a systemic great achievement.)

Many of us may like Governor’s enthusiasm and business acumen, but analysts like Mayer give us reason to doubt his ability to help Ohio innovate its way to a better future and greater prosperity. If he cannot find innovative ways to fund government, can we expect he will achieve his inspiring goals for Ohio? Unless his goals are primary for big corporate concerns, maybe not.

To read Matt Mayer’s report on Governor Kaisch’s budget, visit the Buckeye Institute website:

John Kaisch Visiting Greene County Today

Candidate for governor, John Kaisch, will be at the Republican Victory Center on Saturday, Oct. 23rd. He is scheduled to arrive around noon. This will probably be his last visit to Greene County before the elections.

The Victory Center is located at 3297 Seajay Dr. Beavercreek OH (Lofino Shopping Center).

Fee Increases Are Not A Budget Solution

by Representative Jarrod B. Martin

Ohio’s economic crisis has presented lawmakers with the unique opportunity to examine state spending, rein in costs and create a more efficient, effective government structure. However, many of Ohio’s leaders chose to maintain the tax-and-spend status quo by placing a heavier financial burden on the people of our state.

Instead of creating a sustainable state budget, Governor Strickland and House Democrats raised taxes and created more than 150 new fines, fees and penalties to support Ohio’s ever-growing government spending. Specifically, these fees will affect each and every Ohioan because they will be imposed on everything from court costs and birth certificates to real estate licenses and hospice applications.

One way the Democrats are nickel-and-diming their way to a balanced budget is through a $20 late fee for renewing your vehicle registration and driver’s license. Since October, 400,000 individuals have been forced to pay this late fee, which has fattened the budget by more than $6 million to benefit the tax and spend party that is in control.

In times of economic hardship, state government should shrink its spending to fit its means, not grab at constituents’ pocketbooks to feed its growth. For this reason, I cosponsored legislation to repeal this $20 BMV late fee on motor vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses and motorcycle endorsements. House Bill 428, introduced by Representatives Ron Amstutz and Terry Boose, has bipartisan support in the House and will help keep Ohio’s government accountable to the public.

It is my belief that the government should serve the people, not the other way around. The day we start squeezing petty dollars out of hardworking families is the day we should finally commit to cost-saving measures to rein in state spending. There is no excuse to justify robbing the taxpayers of money that could have been used to put food on the table or help pay their bills-especially when there are so many alternatives on the table.

Since the beginning of the General Assembly, House Republicans have proposed numerous bills that would streamline state spending, reduce Medicaid waste and audit state agencies. Most of all, these bills would hold Ohio’s elected officials accountable for their expenditures and ensure that each dollar spent has a dollar’s return. Together, our bills would increase government efficiency by saving the taxpayers more than $1 billion annually, which would not only put our state on track toward a balanced budget but also eliminate the temptation to raid the wallets of our constituents.

Ohio has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. It is long overdue that state leaders stop pilfering money from individuals who are just trying to make an honest living and provide for their families. As always, I will continue the fight for an accountable, efficient state government.

Strickland’s Tax Proposal Not the Answer

By Marc Kilmer

Months after a contentious legislative session that struggled over balancing the state budget, Ohio is still facing a deficit. To deal with this, Governor Ted Strickland has proposed postponing scheduled tax cuts. He says the only other option is to cut spending. But what if there was a better way of dealing with these budget problems? If state policymakers would have taken steps to reform the bloated state bureaucracy, Ohioans would not be faced with this ongoing budget mess.

There were over 182,000 people employed by the Ohio state government in 2007, the last year for which numbers are available from the Census Bureau. Another 546,000 were employed by local governments. Your taxes pay the salaries of each of them. On the whole, these are hard-working people who do a good job and help provide necessary services. They are well-compensated for these services, though, and they receive good fringe benefits. No one is saying these government employees should not be paid for their services. But if their compensation was more in line with the private sector, taxpayers would see significant savings.

For instance, state employee salaries have risen faster than salaries for other Ohio workers. From 2001 to 2007, Ohioans’ per capita income rose 21%. State employee income, however, rose 27%. If state employees’ income would have risen at the rate of the rest of Ohioans, the state government would have spent $413 million less this year. And if the number of state employees remained at its 2001 level, the state would have spent $648 million less this year.

Considering that Governor Strickland is talking about $844 million in reduced education spending if the proposed income tax cuts take effect, it’s clear that the growth in state government employment is a significant contribution to the present budget problems. If state policymakers would have applied the brakes to state hiring over the past eight years, there would be no need for the governor to be discussing raising taxes.

Of course, if the number of state employees remained at its 2001 level and their compensation grew only as much as the rest of Ohioans’ compensation, this would translate to even more than $648 million in reduced spending. There would also be savings from the fringe benefits these employees receive, such as health insurance and pensions. And if these benefits were more in line with the private sector, state taxpayers would see even larger savings.

Take state employee health insurance, for instance. Government workers receive good health insurance coverage and they only pay an average of 15% of their premiums. In the private sector, employees pay closer to 30% of their premiums. If state employees were more like private sector employees, that would save taxpayers around $150 million this year.

Government employees should certainly be compensated for their services. But there is no reason why they should have better pay and benefits than they would receive in the private sector. When there is such a large gap between the state government’s spending and revenue, state policymakers need to review the generous compensation and benefits received by state employees and look for ways to rein it in. A hiring freeze, reducing the rate of salary increases, and paring back benefits to private sector levels are not radical propositions. In fact, it’s just common sense.

Source: Buckeye Institute Weekly News Digest, October 5, 2009.

Ten Ways to Fix the State Budget Fiasco

By Daniel Downs

When the State benefits, public vice is okay. To get what they want, government leaders are ardent supporters vice that many studies show harms communities, wrecks families, and often destroys lives. For the easy money, Gov. Strickland and Ohio legislators have approved what Ohio voters rejected-slot machine gambling, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Let’s hope voters remember this when they run for reelection.

The good news is Ohio lawmakers who voted against it intend to take the issue to the Supreme Court. Again, it’s a matter of politicians violating the Constitution, even though Gov. Strickland found found a convenient loophole to jump through.

That also means their is still hope that good creative solutions to solving the $3.2 billion budget deficit will be enacted. Marc Kilmer of the Buckeye Institute proposes ten ways to reform the state budget, which would also enable lawmakers to balance the budget. The following are his ten proposals.

1.    Eliminate the Department of Development – a corporate welfare agency. It hasn’t helped Ohio’s economy and few would miss it if it were eliminated completely. Savings: $157 million over two years.

2.    Move away from Medicaid institutional care. Unlike most other states, Ohio relies on expensive institutional care like nursing homes for its Medicaid recipients. Most recipients prefer cheaper alternatives like in-home care over nursing homes. Savings: $400 million per year.

3.    Reform Medicaid Florida-Style. Medicaid offers low-quality, high-cost care and it takes up a large portion of the budget. Reforms enacted in Florida provide Ohio lawmakers an excellent roadmap for tackling this difficult issue. Savings: $1.5 billion per year.

4.    Education funding should follow the student. If the state implemented a plan where the dollars followed students to whatever school they choose, it would lead to a better education for students as well as savings to the taxpayers. Savings: $500 million per year.

5.    Eliminate the increases from Fiscal Year 2009’s level — Legislators gave some agencies an increase from last year. If these agencies’ funding was held at the same level as Fiscal Year 2009, it would save $343.6 million.

6.    Increase state employee health insurance premiums. On average, state employees pay 15% of the premiums for health insurance. Their private sector colleagues pay roughly 20%. State employees should pay the same. Savings: $57 million over 2 years.

7.    Eliminate non-vital agencies. The Ohio Arts Council, the Cultural Facilities Commission, the Commission on Minority Health, e-Tech Ohio, the Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, and the Ohioana Library Association may serve certain special interest groups well, but in this budget crisis the services they provide are hardly vital. Savings: $111 million over 2 years.

8.    Make users of government services shoulder the cost. The state park system’s millions of visitors each year can pay increased user fees. Savings: $70 million.

9.    Don’t expand government health insurance to the middle class. In 2007 the governor and legislators of both parties expanded a government health insurance program to middle class children. The increase has yet to be implemented and should be permanently abandoned. Savings: $119 million over two years.

10.    Eliminate some Medicaid services. If the state would stop paying for Medicaid recipients’ usage of chiropractors, hospice, and a few other services, the state could save $712 million over two years.

When the above saving are added it, the total amounts to $3.97 billion. Hey! that is more than the $3.2 billion. That violating the voters right to say to slot machine gambling isn’t necessary Gov. Strickland. It does means politicians wold have to show fiscal discipline and responsibility.

I still like the executive branch reorganization legislation that would save Ohio taxpayers around $2 billion this budget cycle.

Maybe it’s time Gov. Strickland and other liberal politicians obey the Constitutional and the people’s will. Better yet, why not resign and let someone more creative and responsible get the job done for the people.

A better way to balance State budget than cut services to the poor, elderly, and library patrons : HB 25/SB 52 Reorganizing Ohio’s Executive Branch

In April, Gov. Strickland issued an executive order to reduce and control spending. In May, the office of Budget and Management estimated an additional budget shortfall would exceed $900. In response to this assessment, Gov. Strickland made the following statement:

“The national recession continues to present historic economic challenges for every state and Ohio is no exception. Even though we have reduced state government spending by nearly $2 billion this biennium, we are now faced with even steeper revenue shortages. Addressing the challenges before us will require extraordinary collaboration and bipartisan consensus-building among the state’s elected leadership. I know that we can work together to make the tough choices necessary to maintain a balanced budget while continuing to invest in education and job-creation that will lead to Ohio’s economic revival.

Did the governor mean state jobs or private sector jobs? Earlier this month, Gov. Strickland said state government must be reduced by another $2 billion to balance the budget. To accomplish this, he has closed mental health facilities and other facilities, reduce staff to Reagan era numbers, and reduced budgets of most state agencies. State employees have voluntarily sacrificed further increases in pay for several years. After all of these fiscally responsible steps, a budget deficit of $3.2 billion still exists.

I suppose that is why Gov. Strickland proposes additional cuts to local library budgets. The deficit probably accounts for a number of proposed cut is services for the poor and elderly as well.

In his last press release, Gov. Strickland repeatedly said, “We must resize the government.” Of course, he means the cuts to agency budgets and some of their personnel. What he doesn’t mean is downsizing the executive branch itself. Yet, there are concurrent bill in both House and Senate committees that will do just that. In February, Representatives Jarrod Martin and Robert Hackett cosponsored HB 25 and Senator Timothy Grendell is the sponsor of SB 52. (Where is Senator Chris Widener?) If these bills would pass, at least $2 of the $3.2 billion would be realized.

Yes, it would be limited-government advocates dream come true. The 20 cabinet-level agencies would be consolidated into 10 cabinet-level departments.

Yes, it would actually reflect the downsizing occurring throughout the private sector as well.

According to analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the bill would not “affect the provision of services by and operations of political subdivisions.” Because government is notorious for inefficiency anyway, the disruption of some services during the transition is bound to occur. Nevertheless, less bureaucracy means less waste and (god-forbid) less taxation.

Although Gov. Strickland still says he doesn’t want to raise new taxes, his comrades on Capitol Hill and elsewhere are creating a New Deal Era economic crisis requiring more taxes and more national debt to justify the enlargement of the federal powers and further the Left’s goal of a fully socialist-Marxist economy. Maybe that t is why loyal party member Strickland is in the key position in a key state.

This federally-driven economic crisis is even more reason for getting Ohio legislators to pass HB25/SB52 to consolidate the executive branch and meet the balance budget. If we can achieve it in Ohio, we can also achieve it at the federal level too. “Yes we can!”

Greene County Library Funding Emergency

Governor Strickland has proposed a last minute change to the State Budget: he proposes to cut funding for Ohio’s Libraries by an additional $100 million dollars a year for the next two years.

Public libraries are a vital lifeline to job hunting information, education, and family fun in a down economy. Greene County Public Library receives 55% of its funding from the State of Ohio. This funding rises and falls with the State’s income, and funding for libraries has already fallen dramatically in the current recession. If the Governor’s new cut became permanent, it would devastate the services the library provides to children, teens, adults, and seniors throughout Greene County.

Under the Governor’s proposal, the funding for Ohio’s libraries would drop to nearly half of 2008 levels. The cost to the Greene County Public Library would be $2.2 million in 2009 and $3.5 million in 2010. The cut for this year would be in addition to the $3.3 million reduction the library is already facing because of declining state tax revenues.

The Greene County Public Library has already absorbed large drops in state funding, even while staff has been working hard not to reduce services for patrons. But, without this key state funding, the library will have to make deep cuts in hours, eliminate services, and possibly even close branches.

You can help Greene County Public Library protect the funding that will keep it doing what it does best — serving you — by contacting your representatives and the Governor’s office by phone and email this week to let them how you feel about the Governor’s proposal: the decision on this proposal will be made before July 1.

Please contact:

Governor Ted Strickland
(614) 466-3555
(614) 644-4357 (Fax)

Representative Jarrod Martin
(614) 644-6020
(614) 719-3970 (Fax)

Representative Robert Hackett
(614) 466-1470
(614) 719-6984 (Fax)

Senator Chris Widener
(614) 466-3780

(Note: To speed up the process, you can write one email with your name and address, and then cut and paste it into your email to the legislators.)