Ohio Gov. Kasich Proposes Tax Cuts, Fighting Tobacco Addiction

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 2/24/14 @ 8:25 p.m.
MEDINA, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's governor began his fourth State of the State speech with a promise to cut more taxes.

Gov. John Kasich proposes driving the state's overall rate below 5 percent.

Kasich says he wants to cut Ohioans' personal income taxes and the taxes paid by small businesses.

Kasich announced the proposal Monday during his annual State of the State speech held this year in Medina.

The governor also has announced a new plan to fight smoking in the state.

Kasich says Ohio was once a national leader in reducing the number of people who smoke and needs to take the cause up again.

Kasich announced in his State of the State speech Monday he is dedicating new tobacco settlement dollars in the fight against the addiction of smoking.

He says the fight will help drive down medical costs and improve Ohioans' health.

Kasich's proposal didn't include dollar amounts or details on the plan.

Also during Monday's event, Kasich presented his annual courage awards to three women who survived their decade-long imprisonment in a Cleveland house.

Kasich said the women's story is one of inner strength and a courage that brought them through and sustained them during the ordeal. Kasich presented the award Monday during his State of the State speech to Amanda Berry, Gina de Jesus and Michelle Knight.

The three were rescued in May after being kidnapped from the streets of Cleveland between 2002 and 2004 at the ages of 14, 16 and 20.

Convicted kidnapper Ariel Castro hanged himself in prison in September at the beginning of a life sentence plus 1,000 years after he pleaded guilty to hundreds of charges the previous month.

ORIGINAL STORY 2/24/14 @ 7:46 a.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich is preparing to deliver a State of the State speech that is expected to emphasize recent gains in private-sector jobs and lay out the Republican's latest ideas for benefiting the state's economy.

Education is likely to be a key theme in Monday's speech at the Performing Arts Center in Medina.

The first-term governor has said he believes students need access to vocational options perhaps as early as 7th grade. He's also hinted public schools should be partially "deregulated" to give educators more flexibility to prevent students from lagging.

Kasich has said he'll work to further reduce Ohio's income tax rate, a goal set out in his 2010 campaign.

His Democratic 2014 rival says Kasich's policies have not benefited Ohio's schools or the overall economy.

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