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· June 29, 2011

Will Governor Kasich use his veto pen and start to make things right?

Today, nearly 1.3 million Ohioans made their voices heard when petitions carrying their names and demanding a repeal of the anti-worker Senate Bill 5 were delivered to the Secretary of State. Tomorrow, the General Assembly will deliver to the Governor a state budget that helps the rich at the expense of working families. Clearly, Governor Kasich—who continues to suffer from a state-wide approval rating of 35%—has a long way to go to win back the faith of middle class Ohioans who are rejecting his extremist policies. He can start that journey today by using his veto pen.  While the Governor cannot undo budget cuts through the line-item veto (read our primer on the Governor’s veto authority), he can at least begin reversing policies that would further benefit the rich and hurt the rest. Below are five line-item vetoes that Gov. Kasich could exercise to begin to restore Ohioans’ faith:
  1. Stand up for students by vetoing the charter school changes that would allow wealthy Republican contributors who operate for-profit charters to open new schools without independent sponsors and adequate oversight.
  2. Stand up for consumers by vetoing the gag order on the Ohio Consumers Counsel whose very job is to advocate for everyday Ohioans.
  3. Stand up for working families by reversing course and vetoing the new, unexamined $100 million tax break for wealthy investors.
  4. Stand up for local governments by vetoing the elimination of Ohio’s estate tax and instead support a middle ground solution that protects the middle class and local government services (Innovation Ohio has suggestions)
  5. Stand up for taxpayers by vetoing the privatization of state liquor profits—which would give up $billions to get mere $millions.  Make good on your promise to get private sector funding for the privatized economic development efforts of JobsOhio.
And while he’s wielding that veto pen, Governor Kasich could do one more thing to start winning back the trust and confidence of regular Ohioans.  He could announce that unlike his friends in the Legislature who refused to take a  modest pay cut in order to share in the sacrifice they are asking of everyone else, the Governor and his staff are setting an example by taking a voluntary pay cut themselves.

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