Thursday, January 25, 2001

Excerpts of the State of the State address delivered Wednesday by Gov. Bob Taft.

        “A tight budget requires tough decisions. In making those decisions, I had three goals:

        “One, to balance the budget without new taxes. We've done that.

        “Two, to hold the line on spending for overhead and reduce the size of the bureaucracy. We've done that.

        “And finally, and most importantly, to invest 50 percent of all new spending in education at all levels. I'm proud to report we've done that, too.”

        “Enabling every child to succeed is my number one priority. It drives our agenda and fuels my enthusiasm.

        “We know that Ohio will succeed in the 21st century only if our students succeed. We have many good schools and even more that are improving. Yet too many students leave school unprepared for the skilled jobs of today.

        “We also face a June deadline for responding to the latest DeRolph (school funding) decision. Working together, we will meet that challenge with a plan that goes beyond adequate funding, a plan to make Ohio a national leader in student success.”

        “We cannot rest until every child learns how to read in elementary school until every child graduates from high school prepared for college or for the jobs of today.

        “No, we cannot rest until every child helps renew the spirit of Ohio.”

        “Our work does not end with primary and secondary education. With a rapidly changing economy, our students need more than a high school diploma to compete for the best jobs.

        “Higher learning equals higher earning. And some are getting the message. Enrollment at Ohio's public colleges and universities rose by more than 2,600 students last year. That's the good news.

        “The bad news is that only about half of our high school graduates go to college. This must change.”

        “We must make Ohio a more attractive place to launch a high-tech firm.

        “While most high-tech start-ups don't turn a profit in their early years, they often owe a significant net worth tax.

        “So today, I'm proposing that new high-tech firms be exempted from that tax during their first three years of operation. Let's give start-ups a fighting chance to succeed.

        “The Spirit of Ohio will see us through a slowing economy. But we can take action now to ensure that Ohio remains a good place to do business, not just for high-tech firms, but for manufacturers, services and small businesses as well.”

        “My friends, we can renew the spirit of Ohio time and time again in the coming years as we pull together to improve our schools, create new jobs and technologies, care for those in need, and promote the health and safety of all Ohioans. We will make this state, which we all love so dearly, an even better place to live, to work and to raise a family at the dawning of the 21st century.”

State of the State
- Excerpts of the State of the State address delivered Wednesday by Gov. Bob Taft.
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