Taft's priorities


As he prepares to assume the office of governor next month, Cincinnati native Bob Taft lists the following priorities:

• Tax relief: Campaign promises to trim taxes for college tuition and job training, elderly homeowners, the uninsured and those who buy long-term care insurance likely will be introduced in separate legislation.

Sponsors of the bills have not yet been determined.

• OhioReads: His program to recruit and train volunteer reading tutors might need legislation to implement.

“We're also in the process of trying to recruit an executive assistant for education,” he said. The person would be on the governor's staff, and would assist with OhioReads and other education-related endeavors.

• Electric utility deregulation: He expects the General Assembly to take the lead on the issue of bringing competition to Ohio's $11-billion-a-year retail electric industry but plans to be very involved.

Mr. Taft said he wants the deregulation legislation to proceed quickly but also wants assurances that consumers will be protected from the confusion that accompanied telephone deregulation.

He also supports allowing utilities to recover so-called “stranded costs” — those expenses that come from big investments that utilities made in nuclear power.

• Patient protection plan: Within three months of taking office, Mr. Taft hopes to see legislation introduced that would give patients the right to sue HMOs.

His so-called Patient Protection Plan was among his main campaign promises. He conceded that the Republican-ruled General Assembly probably will view the bill with “caution,” but said he plans to promote it, nonetheless. 

Taft wants lottery to take different spin
Hope Taft will focus on youths, abuse prevention programs



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