Gov. has to walk the walk

Published 9:57 am Friday, January 30, 2009

Gov. Ted Strickland said almost all the right things Wednesday during his state of the state address.

Now comes the hard part: Living up to all the promises and finding a way to pay for change.

One thing is clear. The governor, starting his third year in office, clearly understands many of the problems facing the state and realizes voters expect results.

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Strickland promised to balance the $50 billion budget without raising taxes, keep higher education tuition from skyrocketing, offering health care to every child in the state and, perhaps most importantly, fixing the state’s flawed educational funding system.

The Lucasville native will release his complete budget next week but it is expected to include an additional $925 million increase in education spending, shifting more of the funding to the state rather than relying on property taxes in each district.

The Ohio Supreme Court has made it clear the state’s current funding system is unconstitutional, creating an ever-widening gap between wealthy communities and those that are less economically fluent, such as many of those here in Appalachia.

We applaud Strickland for tackling this glaring flaw and proposing potential solutions.

Now the governor and his staff need to clearly explain how exactly he is going to pay for all these changes.

In his speech, Strickland said funds would come from other state cuts, federal stimulus funds and fee increases for various services.

What he didn’t say was exactly what these things would be.

Democrats praised the speech with many Republicans remaining justifiably skeptical because the lack of details.

Strickland talked the talk when it comes to fixing Ohio. Now he must walk the walk.