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As he prepares for his State of the State address, DeWine says his goals have not changed

Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) during his first State of the State address on March 5, 2019.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says his speech to the Ohio General Assembly will focus on the foundational goals he had when he took office in 2019, which includes an emphasis on looking to the future.

After the pandemic caused a two-year hiatus, DeWine will deliver his second State of the State address to Ohio lawmakers.

DeWine's last State of the State speech was in March 2019 when he emphasized the importance of investing in programs that support early childhood development, public health, and workforce development.

The relationship between DeWine and some Republican lawmakers has shifted in the past three years. Since his last State of the State address, DeWine enacted several health orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which included shutting down businesses and schools, and mandating face masks in public. Several legislators fought against those restrictions and passed bills that reduced the governor's ability to implement such orders in the future.

"Our goals have not changed," DeWine said, when asked for a preview of his March 23 address.

Watch: Gov. Mike DeWine's first State of the State address

DeWine says his speech will focus on items his administration has accomplished by working with the legislature, such as expanding broadband to rural areas of the state.

He says the other big component of his address will look to the future and outline the state's major priorities.

"If we want Ohio to be the great state that we know it is and be even greater, we have to focus on making sure that every Ohioan, no matter where they live, has the opportunity to live their American dream and has the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential," said DeWine.

A key point in his 2019 address might come up again in 2022. DeWine spent his first months in office fighting for an increase to the gas tax in order to fill a hole in the transportation budget. State leaders eventually agreed on an increase of 10.5 cents per gallon.

Republican legislators are currently considering a bill to roll back that increase.

DeWine will deliver his second State of the State address on Wednesday, March 23 at noon.

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