Last week, Governor John Kasich gave his seventh annual State of the State address, a requirement in Ohio’s Constitution that the governor must fulfill, updating the legislature on the condition of the state and outlining his ideas and proposals for the future. As he has made customary, Governor Kasich took his speech on the road again, rather than hold it at the Ohio Statehouse, and this time the General Assembly and members of his administration journeyed to northern Ohio—to Sandusky.
Sandusky is part of Ohio’s 89th House District, proudly represented by my friend and colleague Representative Steve Arndt. The opportunity to visit his district allowed Rep. Arndt to showcase one of our state and region’s greatest natural resource—Lake Erie—along with the rich communities along Ohio’s northern coast. Home to Cedar Point and many other lakeshore destinations, Sandusky is an important part of the state’s tourism industry. In fact, in 2015 alone, more than $1.9 billion was spent by visitors in the shores and islands region.
In his address, Governor Kasich remarked on the collaborative work that’s been done in Ohio since he took office, particularly regarding the improvement of our economic environment and job creation. The state legislature has made it a priority to pass legislation that fosters an environment that lends itself to job creation and business growth, a principle that gives individuals and families the opportunity to discover their own pathway to success. Since 2011, because of careful and common-sense decision-making, Ohio is up approximately 460,000 new jobs and has rebounded from an $8 billion deficit.
But despite this success, there is always room for improvement. Our society is continuously changing and evolving, especially in today’s world of ever-advancing technology, and Ohio needs to be able to react to those changes. Ohio has always been known for its innovation, and the time is right for initiatives and investments that promote greater modernization, putting Ohio at the forefront of breakthroughs. Ohio’s two biggest industries, agriculture and manufacturing, must be responsive to such breakthroughs, and by enacting policies that benefit these trades, we can ensure growth, development, and an increased workforce.
As remarked by Governor Kasich in his speech, Ohio is in a much better place than it was several years ago. Businesses are booming and Ohioans can more easily find fulfilling, well-paying careers. However, we have to remember that it is crucial as legislators to adjust to the changing landscapes of industry, technology, and more to create greater opportunities for each and every Ohioan.
Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.