Reaction to Governor’s Speech

Akron Beacon Journal - February 9, 2005

The Akron Beacon Journal

Here’s what some Ohioans said about Gov. Bob Taft’s policy statements in his State of the State address:

Taft’s Ohio Partnership for Continued Learning task force is a “comprehensive and solid beginning for a K-16 education proposal,” in
line with what Ohio educators have been advocating. His plan to prepare young people for college and eventually make college more
accessible will have significant benefits, including a “capable citizenry” that is less reliant on government programs.
As for the budget, “We certainly don’t expect any miracles this year.”

Luis Proenza, president
University of Akron
Reducing the state income tax and moving to a flat rate is a “classic regressive move. This is a shift of the tax system in favor of
upper-income tax payers.” Changing the tax structure to cut costs for business “is a bad gamble. There is no evidence it works.”

Zach Schiller, research director
Ohio Policy Matters
“Some Ohioans will die because they can’t afford life-saving medication. Others will become disabled and unable to work. This is a
shell game that will cost some Ohioans their lives and will cost all of us money. This is a slap in the face of Ohio voters.”

Ohio Partnership for Prevention
A coalition of 77 health organizations
“Bob Taft is evidently saving his best work for the tail end of his term. But late is better than never, and we will work closely with the
governor to help pass his pro-taxpayer plans. Ohio needs tax and spending reform now, and we’re glad that Governor Taft gets it and
will lead the charge.”

Scott A. Pullins, chairman
Ohio Taxpayers Association
“On the heels of (Monday’s) proposed federal reductions in Medicaid, Ohio hospitals were dealt another significant blow in today’s
State of the State address in which Gov. Bob Taft proposed state-level cuts to the safety net program…. Because scaling back on
quality of care is not an option, funding cuts force hospitals to make tough decisions such as reducing services or in extreme cases
shutting their doors.”

Ohio Hospital Association
“The Ohio Federation of Teachers will strongly oppose shifting the tax burden to the middle class, which already struggles to support
local school tax levies. Taking a bigger bite from middle-class families to pay for current state services will create more taxpayer
resistance to increasing state school funding.”

Tom Mooney, president
Ohio Federation of Teacher

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