Gov. Kasich Rehashes State Of The State Ideas In Budget Update

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich released a budget update Tuesday, known as the mid-biennium review. 

The update includes Kasich's latest plans for the state, many of which he addressed two weeks ago at the State of the State address.

As he mentioned in his speech, Kasich is planning to expand vocational schooling. 

The budget update includes a plan for optional schooling for technical skills for students in seventh grade and older.

Education is a main component of the plan, focusing on efforts to lower Ohio's dropout rate, using incentive programs. 

Kasich also asks in the budget to give college credit to members of the military for experience earned in service, an idea which gained him plenty of applause at the State of the State.

Taxes are also a focus of the MBR. 

The budget update includes a cut to income taxes by 10 percent over the next two years, and as promised in Kasich's State of the State, an end to the death tax. 

However, he wants to add a 60 cent increase in cigarette tax over the next two years, bringing the tax for one box of cigarettes from $1.25 to $1.85.

Kasich’s political opponents in the Ohio Democratic Party are not pleased with the plans.

"It's really just more of the same. More tax cuts for the wealthy, taxing businesses, low income people. Everything from the tax to the severance, Ohio citizens are losing," said Minority Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D). 

Heard said she believes Kasich's plan is protecting the wealthy and shifting the tax burden to the lower and middle class.

"Whether you believe in people smoking or not is irrelevant, but it impacts unfortunately low income people. More lower income people smoke," said Heard.

Kasich's plans are drafted into House Bill 472 by Rep. Jeffrey McClain (R), and will be voted on in the legislature.

Caleigh Bourgeois is a fellow in Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau. Follow her on Twitter @caleighreports.