Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Jobs, economy focus of Taft address

Staff and wire reports

What happened to last year's State of the State proposals by Gov. Bob Taft:
Proposal: Taft proposes raising taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.
Result: Lawmakers refuse, forcing Taft to cut about $100 million from schools.
Proposal: Taft proposes revamping the state's tax code, a plan that would increase taxes by more than $2 billion over two years.
Result: Lawmakers largely ignore the plan.
Proposal: Taft calls for "new transportation revenue."
Result: Lawmakers go along with a 6-cent increase in the state gasoline tax over three years.
Gov. Bob Taft delivers the State of the State speech at noon today.
TV: WCET (Channel 48); Ohio News Network.
Web: Go to Cincinnati.Com for previous State of the State speeches.
Keyword: State of the state
Live Web cast
Frontier awards:
Third Frontier Project Awards 2002-2004
Tuesday's story:
Taft's address will set agenda
Monday's story:
Blackwell tax drive sets stage for race
Sunday's stories:
Taft sticks with high-tech goal
Third Frontier's three-legged plan two-thirds funded
Third Frontier Project Awards
The real State of Ohio
Borgman cartoon:
No Girly State
COLUMBUS - Jobs and programs to help jump-start the economy are expected to dominate Gov. Bob Taft's sixth State of the State speech today.

The state's unemployment rate was 6 percent in December, up from 5.7 percent in November. Ohio unemployment has risen from 4 percent four years ago.

Of particular concern are manufacturing jobs, which provide employment to about 850,000 people.

The state has lost more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs in the last three years.

"Ohio manufacturing continues to face enormous pressures," Taft said last month.

Taft blamed often-unfair overseas competition and rising costs of health benefits, energy, regulation, litigation and pensions.

To help reverse job losses, the governor wants lawmakers to pass bills limiting lawsuits against companies and reducing workers comp costs, Taft said in the speech.

There's more at stake for Taft, a Republican in his second and final term, than just reducing unemployment.

President Bush will rely on Taft to deliver Ohio in November. No Republican has gained the White House without winning Ohio.

Jobs, economy focus of Taft address
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