Governor John Kasich spoke to a room full of business men and women at a luncheon for the Rotary Club of Cincinnati Thursday. Among other topics, Kasich talked about where Ohio is and how he would like to see the state improve.
Kasich also took time to answer questions before his address, responding to tough questions on the big issues that matter to Cincinnatians.
When asked about what should be done to fix the state funding system for schools which was deemed unconstitutional, Kasich put the focus back on local districts.
"Well first of all, there's no school district in Ohio that when you look at federal, state, and local aid, is going to lose more than 7.9 percent and most of them are significantly less than that," Governor Kasich said. "We've given them a whole lot of tools with Senate Bill 5 and with the ability to do shared services. They can cope with five percent in a difficult economic time and so they've got to be more creative."
Fox19 also asked Kasich about his decision to prolong negotiations with the casino industry ready to put shovels in the ground in Ohio. Construction has been on hold because the governor wants to review the deal the state originally made with the operators and developers.
State Senator Eric Kearney told Fox19 the governor is sending Cincinnatians the wrong message with this handling of Ohio's new casino industry by dragging out the negotiations.
"I don't know how that is. The fact of the matter is that Ohioans have gotten a pretty raw deal," Kasich said. "To some degree I think the casinos just want to skate past on everything."
"Rather than do what we did the last time which is we didn't know what we were doing... I want to make sure when we decide gaming on a comprehensive basis, it's being decided by people who really understand the industry," Kasich said. "There isn't anybody in Ohio that I know in the government that really understands the industry."
"I can't wait until they're able to open up and go forward, but you know there's some matters that have to be settled and to some degree I think they like to cry wolf, you know, 'woe is us'," he added.
Before Kasich left, he was also asked about the Cincinnati Streetcar Project, a project that despite passionate appeals failed to get state funding this week which sent city leaders back to the drawing board.
"We make these decisions, fundamentally based on the economic benefits and there is nothing to indicate that spending that amount of money is going to give us the economic benefits and I'm not sure that riding a streetcar as opposed to riding a bus is the definition of cool," Kasich said of the project aimed at retaining young professionals in the Cincinnati area. "The definition of cool down here is that the Reds are in first place, the definition of cool down here is that Xavier and the University of Cincinnati are great institutions, they're fun."