State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today reacted to Governor’s Kasich’s State of the State address, saying that the reality on the ground for working people does not match the rosy picture painted by the governor Wednesday night in Marietta. The Cleveland-area lawmaker noted that the governor especially failed to address the real state of cuts to communities in Ohio.
“Ohio residents and Ohio communities need help. While jobs have returned, the recovery has yet to reach our middle class. Families are working longer hours, but with no proof on their paychecks,” said Smith. “In addition, Ohio communities continue to face significant budget challenges due to the governor's raid on the Local Government Fund. As a matter of fact, 85% of his $2 billion Rainy Day Fund comes from the Local Government Fund. That's not leadership, that's larceny.”
Since taking office, Gov. Kasich has cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding, money that cities and towns use to pay for police and fire, keep the roads paved and the water clean, and provide a quality public education to our children. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year because the state continues to keep more revenue instead of sending it back to the local communities in which it is generated. 32 Ohio cities are on the state’s fiscal distress list because of inadequate finances needed to provide basic services and meet fiscal obligations.
Smith highlighted that in contrast to the governor making a pit-stop from the campaign to come to Marietta, Democratic lawmakers are hard at work at the statehouse pushing legislation that will have a real positive impact on working families. In January, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate announced their “Focus on The Future” agenda; an eight-bill package Democrats say will ensure economic stability for the next generation of working people in Ohio.