The governor's annual State of the State speech is in the history books now - for several reasons. At one hour and 23 minutes, it's likely the longest ever. And it's believed to be the first State of the State address delivered in a building not on Capitol Square in Columbus. Gov. John Kasich spent much of the speech looking back on what he considered his accomplishments, mostly in the area of the economy and jobs. He also presented three Courage Award to a woman who lost her son to prescription drug abuse, a human trafficking survivor and the family of a soldier who died shielding another soldier from machine gun fire in Afghanistan.
Gov. Kasich talked about where he's hoping the state will go in manufacturing, logistics, medicine, financial services, agriculture, and technology. And he talked about energy, including coal, renewables and oil and gas exploration. That section on fracking brought out shouts from protestors in the audience. Those who shouted were escorted from the auditorium, but the outbursts continued.
Reaction from lawmakers was split straight along party lines. Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus and longtime Republican lawmaker Randy Gardner enjoyed it, as did JobsOhio president and Kasich friend Mark Kvamme. Democrats were predictably unimpressed, especially with Gov. Kasich's comments about crossing party lines and working together. Among those who sounded off were House Minority Leader Armond Budish, Senate Assistant Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, Rep. Bob Hagan, Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney and Rep. Ron Gerberry.
Among the reporters combing through Gov. John Kasich's second State of the State speech are Bill Cohen and Jo Ingles from the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau.
February 10, 2012