State of the State Address: investing in Ohio's future

On Tuesday, March 5th, in his State of the State Address, Governor Mike DeWine talked about investing in Ohio’s future. The Governor discussed the importance of maintaining safe roadways and bridges, developing and sustaining a quality education for our children and keeping them safe, helping those struggling to overcome addiction and trauma, and ensuring a healthy environment where we all have access to clean water. A speech is only the first step. The rubber will meet the road on March 15th when Governor DeWine rolls out his first biennial budget proposal. Budgets are moral documents that establish the priorities and values of of the Governor, the Legislature, and our state.

There are roads and bridges that have fallen into disrepair, some to the point of being closed because they are not safe to travel. Last month, ODOT Director Marchbanks testified that, “The need is real,” Marchbanks said. “People have this anecdotal idea — the roads look bad. But it’s not just anecdotal. The actual condition of the system has deteriorated. Governor DeWine intends to invest in programs that will keep Ohio’s roads safe to travel.”

Too many Ohioans have died from drug overdose. Those who are still living a struggle to end addiction need services to help them and their affected families to recover. In his Address, the Governor declared, "We are going to expand the state's treatment capacity first with more crisis support for children and for adults struggling with mental illness and addiction."

He also talked about wrap-around services for children who have been traumatized, abused, or neglected due to their parents’ struggles with addiction, as well as substance abuse prevention education in K-12 school programs.

The condition of Lake Erie and other lakes and rivers continues to put Ohio’s families at risk. We need to ensure that everyone has access to clean water, free from contamination. DeWine plans to invest in programs that “ensure the long-term health and protection of Lake Erie and other Ohio bodies of water through a new H2-Ohio Fund”.

As people of faith, we also support initiatives that allow for all children to receive a quality education and be free from childhood trauma, help people to overcome their struggles with addictions, and ensure that all families have access to clean water. We look forward to a budget proposal in the coming week which reflects the words of the Governor’s Address.