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Ohio House Democratic leader lays out priorities ahead of DeWine’s State of the State address

Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington)
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington)

The leader of the Ohio House Democratic caucus has laid out the issues her members want to hear about in Gov. Mike DeWine’s State of the State address Tuesday.

Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), House Democratic caucus leader, said Ohio has seen many opportunities over the past year that can lead to growth and improvement, such as the Intel project in central Ohio.

However, Russo added that there are still several areas that still need a lot of attention through both policy and spending.

She said the state has a large prosperity gap and that investments through the two-year operating budget can help.

“This is about making sure that we are making the right investments in people so that both our students – as well as those individuals who are in communities that have not yet experienced this prosperity – that everyone has opportunity to thrive here,” Russo said.

DeWine, a Republican, is expected to roll out the details of his budget plan during his State of the State address. He said most of the proposals will reflect the investments made in previous budgets.

Russo said she has agreed with spending more state money on mental health resources, along with other areas of investment.

She added that state leaders must prioritize spending that leads to better outcomes in affordable housing, education, and health care.

DeWine has focused on early childhood development and expanded services for kids in school. Russo said there’s still “a lot more work to do” in that area.

“The reality is we still have a large number of children in the state who live in deep poverty. We have much work that needs to be done in terms of making sure that we've got schools that are well resourced for our students and all communities,” said Russo.

DeWine hinted at some of the main points of his budget last week. He said he put the finishing touches on the plan which will be presented during his State of the State address.

According to DeWine, the budget proposal will resemble previous budgets with the “same direction with the same priorities.”

“We were going 50 miles an hour,” he said by adding that now, “you'll see we're trying to go about 100 miles an hour.”

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