Law Politics State Here are 5 important takeaways from the State of the State Address By Bo Kuhn Posted on March 6, 2019 6 min read 0 0 139 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed the Ohio government Tuesday. Photo from Flickr Mike DeWine talked infrastructure, education, childcare and water quality at the annual State of the State Address. Changes in higher education Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that “we are going to embark on the most aggressive worker development and worker retraining in the history of the state of Ohio.” His plan involves bolstering support for tech schools and community colleges, as well as increasing the number of professional certificates available to the public. DeWine also said he wants to “help Ohio college students and their families by having every one of our public universities offer guaranteed tuition, tuition that won’t increase one dime over the course of the four years that student is in college.” DeWine said that “the cost of college should be transparent and predictable.” Ohio U already has this practice in place through its OHIO Guarantee. Ohio University President Duane Nellis was in attendance at DeWine’s address “Whether you’re talking about improving water quality, or mental health, or the innovation economy, those are all things that our university want to partner with him, and really advance the state and truly be apart of his team,” Nellis said. 1.2 billion dollar infrastructure funding increase The funding increase comes in the form of an 18 cent gas tax, which puts the total gas tax at 46 cents per gallon. According to Gov. DeWine, a dollar of gas tax in 2005 now buys only 58 cents worth of road and bridge repair. “This is a minimalist approach,” DeWine said. “This being the absolute bare minimum we need to protect our families and our economy.” This funding increase is to address the infrastructure problem in Ohio. DeWine said 2,600 bridges are rated in poor condition. Ohio will continue to fight the opioid crisis DeWine announced a plan to increase the number of drug enforcement task forces. He also discussed the creation of a new narcotics intelligence center. DeWine also wants to focus on helping victims of drug abuse — adults and children alike — and said he wants to create “more crisis support for children and for adults who are struggling with mental health and addiction.” “We will be creating a new public health fund,” DeWine said. “A fund that will leverage resources through an innovative public private partnership to increase public health awareness and prevention strategies.” A part of this plan is a proposed education program to teach kids K-12 about the dangers and impacts of drugs and tobacco use. A new public health fund to address concerns DeWine also announced his “H2Ohio” fund to “invest target solutions to ensure safe and clean water all across the state of Ohio.” DeWine also said he planned to fund Ohio Senate Bill 2, which is a plan to reduce Lake Erie’s Western Basin phosphorus levels 40 percent by 2025. DeWine also talked about lead levels in children. He said thousands of Ohio children under the age of six test positive for unsafe lead levels. “Undoubtedly, there are countless more who have never been tested at all who would in fact, if tested, test positive,” DeWine said. DeWine said he will create a new public health fund to leverage resources through an innovative public-private partnership to increase public health awareness and prevention strategies. The public health fund would also include his plan to educate K-12 kids about drugs and tobacco. Improving K-12 education DeWine announced his intent to expand Wraparound service models for children in school. Wraparound is a national program that “provides a comprehensive, holistic, youth and family-driven way of responding when children or youth experience serious mental health or behavioral challenge,” according to the National Wraparound Initiative website.