As state budget deliberations are underway, I can’t help but think of the phrase “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” In fact, where is our treasure and where is our heart as Ohio’s citizens?
Though I applaud and support the Kasich administration for its position on Medicaid expansion, I am deeply concerned about cuts to our local government funds, cuts to our library funds and cuts to our public schools during the course of his administration. Additionally, I believe we have failed to adequately repair our roads and bridges, water lines, and sewer systems. Now, after six years of Republican control and policies, Gov. Kasich says Ohio is “on the verge of a recession.
And why are we hearing this now when just a few weeks before we were celebrating the so- called “Ohio Miracle”? I have come to realize that it wasn’t a miracle, but a mirage. Quite simply, I believe we have shortchanged and short-circuited our potential, effectively mortgaging our future and the future of our children for the immediate gratification of tax breaks for the wealthy and a bloated rainy day fund — all at the expense of communities like ours. Every day I struggle with reality. I fret, I stew and I think of you.
I think of your families, your children and your safety. Yet in the midst of my frustration, I am once more renewed. I believe our treasure is right here… in the hopes and dreams deep within your souls reflected by the goodness and gratitude of your hearts. For when I think of you — my hard working constituents — I am refreshed, recharged and reinvigorated.
I pledge to you that I will continue to wrestle with iniquities and inadequacies of the state budget by fighting for the greater good for you, your children and our communities. However, this is only possible if we work together, shoulder to shoulder, because that is when our democracy works best. My hope is that we can all pledge to move forward together, with all, by all, and for all. After all, it is our district, our state and our future.