taking speech on road splits lawmakers
January 26, 2012
lawmakers were split Tuesday on Gov. John Kasich’s plans to take his
the State address on the road next month.
nothing against Steubenville, the location of the Feb. 7 speech to a
session of the General Assembly. But Democrats and Republicans both
concern Tuesday about the costs involved and in the traditions being
having the annual event away from the Statehouse.
Steubenville, but I love my taxpayers more,” said Rep. Lynn Wachtmann,
Republican from Napoleon, who will have to drive more than four hours
hometown in northwestern Ohio to attend.
of the State should be held in this chamber right here,” added Rep.
Gerberry, a Democrat from Austintown, a little more than an hour from
Steubenville. “To take the State of the State out of this chamber is
announced earlier this month that he will give the State of the State
Wells Academy, a top-ranked public school in Steubenville. It’s the
in modern history that a governor has given the speech away from
he has defended the decision.
it’s just a great thing to think that everybody’s going to drive across
and go and visit a place that has basically been ignored for 50 years,”
governor told reporters last week.
was the focus of a debate in the Ohio House on Tuesday, as it and the
Senate moved a resolution to have the joint session for Kasich’s
speech technically is a combined meeting of lawmakers for the purpose
hearing a message from the governor.
looking forward to hosting the State of the State address,” said Sen.
Gentile, a Democrat from Steubenville. “There is much enthusiasm about
opportunity to showcase our great part of the state. ”
Speaker Bill Batchelder, a Republican from Medina, said he did not
move to lead to any additional cost, though lawmakers will have to pay
extra mileage out of pocket.
he said, would provide no additional funding for travel, other than
already made that cover the distance between lawmakers’ homes and the
also said he did not expect the governor to give future State of the
speeches away from the Statehouse.
President Tom Niehaus said his chamber is still considering whether to
additional mileage reimbursement for members or, possibly, renting
drive senators to the site.
lawmakers are supporting the governor’s taking the speech on the road.
why someone hasn’t done this a long time ago,” said Rep. Matt Huffman,
Republican from Lima. “It’s a good idea. I hope they come to Lima.”
“This is a good opportunity to show folks not just in Steubenville but
the state that it’s not just about what happens in Capitol Square. The
the state counts, too.”
adopted the joint-session resolution by a vote of 52-42, and the Senate
followed suit, 24-7.
and other articles at the Youngstown Vindicator