Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) recently delivered his first State of the State address, and Democrats in attendance loved what they heard.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley attended the occasion and was surprised at what she was hearing from the new Republican governor.
“When a Republican governor gives a Democratic state-of-the-state speech, you know we’re living in strange times,” she told The Columbus Dispatch.
— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) March 5, 2019
Veteran Democrat Gayle Channing Tenenbaum of the Center for Community Solutions “gushed” over DeWine’s address, according to The Dispatch.
“Child welfare, children and youth mental health and trauma treatment, lead poisoning, early care and education, infant mortality and mother’s mortality … five governors and 55 years [and] I have never seen anything like this,” she said.
“I was encouraged to hear Governor DeWine talk about the importance of addressing challenges impacting our kids and families—especially early childhood education and infant mortality,” Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) added.
DeWine’s first real test, however, will come Friday upon the release of his first budget proposal. During a Thursday event, he announced that his budget would include a $900 million fund for water protection services, a major priority for the Democrats.
“Candidly, we cannot lurch from water crisis to water crisis,” he said. “This fund will give us the ability to march to long-lasting solutions.”
His budget plan is also expected to include a $148 million increase in funding for foster-care programs, which is almost double the current budget, according to Cleveland.com. He’s also indicated that he’ll seek to double state funding for home-visitation programs for pregnant and new mothers in an effort to curb Ohio’s infant-mortality rates.
“Evidence-based home visiting programs help give children the best possible start in life and increasing participation can help lower infant mortality rates, increase kindergarten readiness and improve parenting skills,” DeWine said. “Strong children grow into strong adults, so an investment in these proven programs is an investment in our state’s future.”
Overall, his Friday budget is expected to emphasize mental health and drug addiction services.
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