Columbus, Ohio - In his State of the State address, Governor Ted Strickland today proposed a $1.7 billion jobs package, expanding access to college for high school seniors and allowing the governor to appoint a newly-created Director of the Ohio Department of Education.
Strickland outlined a $1.7 billion jobs stimulus package, Building Ohio Jobs, which will invest in job-creating industries and Ohio workers.
Through issuing bonds, the $1.7 billion Building Ohio Jobs package will create more than 80,000 good-paying jobs in Ohio and lay the foundation for future economic prosperity by investing in the state's energy economy, distribution infrastructure, biomedicine, bioproducts, public works, our downtown neighborhoods and the Clean Ohio fund.
"Building Ohio Jobs, and all these programs within it, represent a commitment to opportunity and strength," Strickland said. "It is an investment in job-creating industries, in our communities, and in our workers. And it will create opportunity today, tomorrow, and for generations."
Strickland also proposed a reorganization of the leadership structure at the Ohio Department of Education and an expansion of higher education opportunities for the state's college bound students.
In K-12 education, Strickland called for the establishment of a new position: Director of the Ohio Department of Education. Under the governor's proposal, the Director would be appointed by the governor and serve as a member of the governor's Cabinet, subject to the approval of the senate. The current State Board of Education and the state superintendent would serve in advisory and additional roles as determined by the Director of the Department of Education.
In higher education, Strickland announced that Chancellor Eric Fingerhut's 10-year strategic plan will guarantee that high-quality associate and bachelor's degrees in core fields will be available on a campus within 30 miles of every Ohioan.
Strickland also proposed the Seniors to Sophomores initiative, which directs the Chancellor to give every 12th-grader who meets the academic requirements a choice of spending their senior year in their home high school, or spending it on a University System of Ohio campus. Tuition would be free.
To honor the state's commitment to our veterans, Strickland called for the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will consolidate Ohio's veterans' services to one agency and ensure the state is effectively providing veterans with the benefits they have earned.
"I look forward to working with the General Assembly on this effort," Strickland said. "Let us make Ohio known for its commitment to our entire military community."
In addition, Strickland urged the General Assembly to complete work on his Energy, Jobs and Progress bill as soon as possible. The plan will guarantee that electricity prices remain stable and the supply of electricity is reliable while protecting and creating jobs and establishing Ohio as a leader in advanced energy efforts.
A summary of the Governor's State of the State address is included below:
Economy: Building Ohio Jobs, $1.7 billion Ohio Jobs Package
To respond to the state's economic challenges, Governor Strickland is proposing Building Ohio Jobs, a $1.7 billion jobs stimulus package to create more than 80,000 jobs and lay the foundation for future economic prosperity.
Through issuing bonds, the plan will invest:
- $250 million in the advanced and renewable energy economy, including solar, wind and clean coal.
- $150 million in our state's infrastructure to help create a seamless network of roads, rails, and ports to support our logistics and distribution industry.
- $100 million in bioproducts that use renewable sources instead of petroleum to create plastics and other products.
- $200 million in the biomedical industry, saving lives by fueling Ohio's leadership in new medical products.
- $200 million establishing the Ohio Main Streets Renewal Initiative to spur redevelopment in downtown neighborhoods in our cities and towns.
- $400 million in the Clean Ohio fund, to advance our efforts to reclaim brownfields and other damaged lands and preserve farm land and open spaces.
- $400 million in the Ohio Public Works Commission to help our local partners with road, bridge, water and sewer projects. These are projects that spur growth in our cities and towns and Ohio as a whole.
Higher Education: Seniors to Sophomores Initiative
Governor Strickland's Seniors to Sophomores Initiative directs the Chancellor to give every twelfth grader who meets the academic requirements a choice of spending their senior year in their home high school, or spending it on a University System of Ohio campus. Tuition would be free.
Higher Education: Bachelor's Degree Offered within 30 Miles of Every Ohioan
Chancellor Fingerhut's 10-year strategic plan will guarantee that high-quality associate and bachelor's degrees in core fields will be available on a campus within 30 miles of every Ohioan.
Education: Allowing the Governor to Appoint a newly-created Director of Department of Education
To ensure a direct line of responsibility and accountability in education, Governor Strickland is calling for the establishment of a new position: the Director of the Department of Education. The Director will be appointed by the Governor and serve as a member of his Cabinet. The existing structure of the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent would remain in place in advisory and additional roles as determined by the director.
Veterans: Establishing the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs
To honor our commitment to Ohio's veterans, Governor Strickland is calling for the creation of the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs and the consolidation of the state's services to veterans in this new Cabinet-level agency.
Posted by LS