What to expect during Gov. DeWine's State of the State address
Gov. Mike DeWine will issue his annual State of the State speech today at noon from the Ohio Statehouse.
- Watch live at OhioChannel.org or on public TV stations.
What we're watching: DeWine is expected to pitch a new affordable housing tax credit as part of his upcoming two-year budget proposal.
- He may suggest strategies for publicly leveraging major jobs projects, like the Intel chip plants and Honda's new EV battery factory, into further economic development.
- The governor will likely also tout the Imagination Library of Ohio's enrollment milestone and enactment of a new distracted driving law he's long pushed for.
- And it's possible he will drum up support for the proposed Ohio State Fairgrounds overhaul.
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.
- But that is still the case for DeWine, who was often at odds with the legislature during his first term — most notably on perceived executive overreach during the pandemic.
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.
- Statehouse Republicans ignored those proposals in favor of bills loosening Ohio's gun restrictions, which DeWine signed into law.
- Will DeWine again advocate for laws to reduce gun violence or choose to drop the issue?
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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