Gov. DeWine reflects on his first year in office

Gov. DeWine reflects on his first year in office
Governor Mike Dewine is wrapping up his first year in office. From natural disasters to mass shootings it has been eventful. (Source: WXIX)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Governor Mike DeWine is wrapping up his first year in office and he’s talking about his biggest challenges and what the future holds.

Dewine reflected back on the moment when a crowd chanted for him to “do something” following a mass shooting outside of a Dayton bar in August that left nine people dead.

“People are mad. They’re angry. This is a horrible tragedy so what is a leader supposed to do is lead,” DeWine said.

Soon after, DeWine unveiled a proposal to reform gun laws by strengthening background checks, toughening penalties for those who have a firearm illegally, and improving psychiatric care for a person with mental illness who is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. “I can’t guarantee if we pass this, we will never have another tragedy, but I can guarantee it will save lives and we’ll make a difference,” DeWine said.

Another big change for Ohio this year was the roll out of medical marijuana, the use of which was signed in law by former Governor John Kasich.

DeWine says the program continues to be analyzed to see how it’s going.

Recently Cincinnati City Council members passed an ordinance to decriminalize marijuana which allows people to carry up to 100 grams without fear of fines or prosecution.

The governor says it won’t likely become a state law anytime soon.

“I think we need to be careful of the message that we send to young people about marijuana. This is not the marijuana of the 60′s. It is much more potent. We now have medical evidence that tells us as long as someone’s brain is still developing and if they’re a frequent user of marijuana that it can risk a serious loss of IQ,” DeWine said.

He says one of his proudest moments as governor was passing a bipartisan bill that looks to the future by allowing growth and creating more jobs. “I can’t think of any better place to live,” Dewine said.

The governor says the future of Ohio looks bright.

He says improving infrastructure in Cincinnati and throughout the state also remains one of his top priorities. DeWine didn’t give a timeline but says that Brent Spence Bridge and the Western Hills Viaduct will be fixed.

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