Jan 31, 2023 - Politics

What to expect during Gov. DeWine's State of the State address

Photo illustration of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Gov. Mike DeWine will issue his annual State of the State speech today at noon from the Ohio Statehouse.

What we're watching: DeWine is expected to pitch a new affordable housing tax credit as part of his upcoming two-year budget proposal.

What not to expect: Much COVID-19 talk.

  • DeWine devoted only a small portion of his 2022 speech to the pandemic, instead highlighting other health care needs like mental health spending.
  • Nor is the governor likely to advocate for further election reforms after recently signing a new law requiring photo ID at the polls, a change that DeWine said settles the issue of election security.

The intrigue: You wouldn't think a governor coming off a landslide re-election victory needs to thread so narrow a needle, especially when his party enjoys supermajorities in both legislative chambers.

Zoom in: Take gun control, for example. DeWine backed modest regulations following the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton and pressed for them again in last year's address.

The latest: Continued GOP infighting at the Statehouse won't help DeWine.

  • Two factions are battling for control of the House, which may make it even tougher to secure a necessary coalition to carry out the governor's priorities.

The bottom line: State of the State speeches are more about idealism than realism.

  • With the final election of his lengthy political career likely now in the rearview mirror, this address should be his most idealistic yet.

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