Summary of the Ohio State of the State Address
By Stateline Staff
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D) vowed during his Jan. 26 state of the state address to increase the state's green energy production and to beef up job-creation programs.
Strickland, who is running for re-election, told the politically-split legislature that he plans to take $30 million in federal stimulus funds and $10 million in state funds to invest in fuel cells as well as clean-energy storage. He also asked lawmakers to wipe out the state's tangible personal property tax on energy generation for new wind and solar facilities.
"There will come a day when Ohio will be the undisputed home of advanced energy. A day when we will have cast off those two tired little words that have been used to put us down: rust belt," he said.
To combat the state's 10.9-percent unemployment rate at the end of last year, the governor promised to create a new small business loan program and a retraining and mentoring program to be offered through community colleges and career centers. He also asked the legislature to help put together an internship program for college students to deter them from leaving the state.
Strickland said his administration had cut taxes "every year I have been in office," while also boosting funding for infrastructure and education.
"Our Closing the Achievement Gap initiative has raised expectations and achievements of African American students," he said. "Over the first two years of this effort, participating school districts achieved a more than 18-percent increase in the overall ninth and tenth grade promotion rate."
Finally, Strickland asked lawmakers to approve legislation that would reduce foreclosures in the state.