Friday, August 14, 2009

State of the State: Ohio's economy is not strong

The Darke County Chamber of Commerce today held its 2009 State of the State Legislative Luncheon. State Senator Keith Faber was in attendance - along with State Representatives Jim Zehringer (77th dist.) and Richard Adams (79th dist.). The general topics discussed were the state budget, economic development, education and school funding, agriculture/HSUS, and carbon dioxide sequestration.

Zehringer began the presentation touching on a variety of topics. Of particular note, Zehringer reinforced his opposition to the co2 sequestration proposal as it stands currently. Zehringer had kind words for The Andersons and said he was confident that The Andersons would stand by their word not to do anything unhealthy or unsafe for the community.

Adams spoke mostly about education, and expressed doubt as to the soundness of the governor's plan to partially fund education through slot machines (later clarified to be "individual lottery terminals," or something like that).

Faber concluded the program with an insider's look at the recent state budget negotiations. Faber noted that the new budget accounted for an 18% decrease in state revenue, but yet did not raise taxes on Ohioans. Faber noted that some painful cuts were made. Faber had an optimistic message about the steps needed to turn Ohio's economy around, including the elimination of the state estate tax and overhaul of the tax system. Nevertheless, Faber concluded "the state of the economy is not good. It's not strong."

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