Posted: 12:00 a.m. Monday, Dec. 31, 2012
By Jackie Borchardt
2013 at the Statehouse
Next year will be a busy year in state government as Gov. John Kasich and legislators work on a budget for 2014-15. Also, in 2013 candidates will start emerging for the 2014 races for governor and other statewide offices. Here’s a look at some of the issues state leaders will deal with in 2013:
Ohio’s checkbook is in a much better place now than two years ago in part because of reductions in state spending and staffing. The state finished the 2012 fiscal year with a surplus, adding $235 million to the rainy day fund. Democrats say the next budget should add back some support to education, law enforcement and local government budgets slashed in 2011.
K-12 school funding
Ohio has more than 600 school districts and in the 2012 election, more than 160 districts had tax issues on the ballot. Kasich hasn’t offered many specifics yet, but is clear that school funding will be a major challenge for him in 2013. “I want a child, no matter where they live, no matter what the wealth is in their district, to be able to compete effectively with a child in every other district.”
Kasich wants to raise taxes on fracking and oil companies and give Ohioans a cut on income taxes. In a rare case of disagreeing with Kasich, the Republican-controlled General Assembly kept his plan from getting through in 2012, but he’s likely to try it again. Kasich says Ohio’s 5.9% income tax is ‘too darn high’ and a ‘more-friendly business climate’ would be created if it was lowered.