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Carey hopeful but concerned about new year

As the nation still tackles the worst depression the United States has been in for the past 70 years, Ohio Sen. John Carey acknowledges 2010 will be another tough year

“We are not beginning in a good place. We have so many people unemployed,” Carey said in a phone interview with The Tribune. “Hopefully we have hit bottom and are on the way back. I think things will be accomplished. I am a natural optimist.”

One of the major focuses for the country, not just southern Ohio, the Wellston senator said will be the creation of jobs.

“One of the things we are looking at in the Senate is the Third Frontier (initiative) and that has helped to create innovations for Ohio businesses in the past,” he said.

Third Frontier that started in 2005 and is an investment of $1.6 billion whose goal is to improve the relationship between research and industry.

“We are talking about putting on the ballot for May to renew the program that finds ways that reaches all parts of the states,” Carey said. “In the past there was the concern it was going to big city areas and not rural. For every dollar it generates it brings $3 back in investment.”

Investment that leads to innovation that would focus on advancing Southern Ohio’s agricultural and coal industry could benefit the area, the senator said.

“Finding new ways to use our agriculture to drive our economy,” he said. “Hopefully, it depends on what happens on the federal level, is to find ways to use coal and limit the environmental impact, but use Ohio coal.”

Carey is also concerned about the impending national health care legislation and its impact on Ohio. He said he is worried if the legislation will require more financial support from the state.

“The state doesn’t have any extra money,” he said. “That money is going to have to come through caps or higher taxes.”