SANDUSKY – Today, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statements in response to Governor Kasich's State of the State address.

The Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus believes all Ohioans deserve a fair shot at success. Caucus priorities for the 132nd General Assembly are based on a belief that all Ohioans deserve access to good jobs, quality schools, strong communities and affordable healthcare. 

Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), Senate Minority Leader:

“At a time when Ohio needs new ideas and a fresh approach, Governor Kasich offers more of the same.  He continues to push for more income tax cuts while raising the sales tax and failing to invest in Ohio's schools and communities. His plans continue to harm the middle class.  

"And while our state suffers through the opioid epidemic, the Governor says we should ‘start talking.’ This is a health crisis. What we need to do is start acting. Let's give our counties the funding they need now to support children’s services, law enforcement, and addiction treatment programs."

Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus), Assistant Senate Minority Leader:

“Governor Kasich likes to brag about Ohio and its supposed miracle, but everyday Ohioans know the truth. Far too many families are struggling to put food on the table. Cities, townships, and counties are unable to provide vital services because of the large cuts to local governments made by the Kasich administration over the last 6 years. Ohio was promised that if we kept making tax cuts, we would become leaders in the nation in job creation. Instead we have trailed the national average in job growth for over 4 years.

"Ohio also finds itself in the position of having the most opioid deaths in the country, yet we still do not have an adequate commitment from the Governor for enough funding to help fight this epidemic. I hope the Governor will start to practice what he always seems to be preaching and work with members on both sides of the aisle to fix the problems faced by residents in our state."

Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo), Minority Whip:

“As I have stated before, Ohio ranks last among all 50 states in child protective services funding. Governor Kasich’s budget leaves some of the most vulnerable among us, such as abused children and foster youth, out in the cold. And his budget continues inadequately funding our public schools. Instead of doing what’s right, the Kasich administration’s budget irrationally blames teachers and will give over $3 billion more in tax cuts to the rich. All I ask is that the well-off pay their fair share. Together we can make sure that all Ohioans have access to affordable health care, a good public education, and the opportunity to hold a job that pays a decent wage.”

Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), Assistant Minority Whip:

“We are faced with a public health crisis in Ohio.  When the bodies of overdose victims are being stored in refrigeration trucks, we need to seriously discuss and invest in treatment instead of increasing prison sentences on drugs; that approach has been proven to fail to keep our communities safe and our families together and strong. 

‘We owe it to our communities, our children, and our law enforcement agencies to provide adequate funding in a time when the Local Government Fund has been slashed in recent years.”

Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights):

“During a time in which workers’ rights have been historically eroded, Democrats are continuously fighting for protections for working people. Members of our caucus will continue to introduce legislation to strengthen benefits, wages, training, and discrimination protections as we have done so far, to ensure Ohioans have a fair shot at opportunities in this state."

Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron):

“An honest assessment of the state of our state needs to acknowledge how difficult the past several years have been for our local governments. And I simply reject the notion that the only way to create jobs is to cut taxes that truly only benefit the wealthiest at the expense of those who are struggling for a seat at the table.

“As a new Senate member, I hope to work with Governor Kasich and my Republican colleagues to advance a genuinely bipartisan agenda of positive reforms that support local governments, small businesses, schools, and affordable healthcare for all.”

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