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DeWine sets agenda for second term in office during inauguration ceremony

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) delivers his second inauguration address during a ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse on January 9, 2023.
Brooke LaValley
The Columbus Dispatch
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) delivers his second inauguration address during a ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse on January 9, 2023.

Gov. Mike DeWine, during his inaugural address for his second term in office, said his plans for the next four years as governor will be centered on public health, mental health, and extending opportunities for Ohioans.

DeWine’s inauguration ceremony was at the Ohio Statehouse Monday. He was surrounded by family, friends, cabinet members, political allies, and other public officials in the statehouse rotunda.

“Thank you for the trust and responsibility that you have given me. Thank you for giving us the most precious thing there is and that is time. Time for us to continue to work for you as we tackle our state’s unfinished business,” DeWine told the crowd after taking the ceremonial oath of office.

The official oath of office was administered by Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine, Mike DeWine’s son, on Sunday. Pat DeWine also administered the ceremonial oath.

DeWine took a moment during the ceremony to thank the health care professionals, first responders, teachers, grocery story workers, restaurant employees, and national guard members who "stepped up" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his address, DeWine said his administration will continue to work on issues he sees as vital for the state. That included mental health services, infrastructure, high-speed internet in rural counties, public safety, and early childhood programs.

DeWine delivered a call to action for people who live in other states by laying out Ohio's attributes and repeating the phrase "come to Ohio."

“If you just want a chance for a better life and a brighter future — come to Ohio.” DeWine said.

He continued, “We need to start telling the world what we have always known, that Ohio is the state of opportunity.”

DeWine said he is optimistic about Ohio's future adding, “This truly is Ohio’s moment in history.”

House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) was in attendance for DeWine’s address.

Russo’s on board with the idea of improving quality of life in the state and she said she liked what she heard from DeWine’s speech.

“We are willing to work for the governor on those issues that we think create an Ohio that creates a good place for our people, our children and we will work together with him on that and fight back on the things that we think don’t meet those goals,” Russo said.

Russo said Ohio needs to embrace more inclusive policies to keep young people in the state and bring in more residents.

“Obviously we want to make sure that we have the job opportunities but it is also about making sure the state is a welcoming state for all,” said Russo.

Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) said DeWine’s address was upbeat and positive, especially on the message of economic development.

However, Craig added that Ohio needs to do more to be open to people of all kinds.

“We can't just say that we've got to live that out. And in terms of public policy makers making sure that everybody has quality of life, that our policies are inclusive and very thoughtful,” Craig said.

DeWine noted the upcoming budget which will be a priority for his office and state lawmakers in the coming months. DeWine said investments in mental health services, clean water, high-speed internet, and early childhood programs will be key focus points.

DeWine signed five executive orders on Sunday. One executive order prohibited the use of TikTok or other foreign-owned platforms, apps, or websites on state electronic devices.

Other orders added “nursing mother” to the state’s policy on anti-discrimination, and created an office in the Ohio Department of Insurance to help with access to mental health and addiction services.

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