Gov. John Kasich has delivered his last six State of the State speeches in cities around Ohio – and not in the Statehouse. He now says he wants to give his final address to a joint session of the General Assembly March 6 in Westerville, 15 miles north of the Capitol. And some legislators have been concerned about the move of the annual address.
The numbers of lawmakers opposing the resolution each year to move Kasich’s State of the State has dropped as the Republican majority has increased. But Republicans have raised concerns about added costs and breaking tradition. Conservative Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) voted against moving the speech to Sandusky this year, noting the Statehouse is the centrally located repository of public records for state government. “And the governor, for his own reasons, has been dragging us along to distant places, at times uncomfortable,” Roegner said.
No Republican Senator has voted against moving the speech. A Democratic representative proposed legislation in 2014 to require the State of the State be delivered at the Statehouse, but it never got out of committee.