Today John Kasich took the oath of office as Ohio’s Governor.
His first order of business will be to work on the state budget and to develop proposals that will deal with a budget deficit estimated to reach as high as $8 billion. He has pledged to do so without raising taxes, in part by restructuring government and making Ohio more “business-friendly.” He will have two months to develop his budget proposals, and Ohio citizens and legislators will then have time to evaluate them before the budget must be passed.
Our new Governor faces large challenges — in developing a budget, and in other areas as well — and already the opposition is mobilizing. For example, I received an email today soliciting opposition to Governor’s Kasich’s agenda and asking for a pledge to resist his initiatives. How sad for our state! Before the new Governor even has an opportunity to begin the difficult process of governing and to develop and explain his proposals to address the challenges facing the Buckeye State, his opponents are already lining up to do battle, come what may. With that kind of reflexive reaction, is it any wonder that we have problems with gridlock in our political systems? In view of the dire problems facing Ohio, can’t the two parties at least try to work together to come up with some consensus solutions?