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Buckeye Brief VI: Governor DeWine’s 2024 State of the State Address

Buckeye Brief VI: Governor DeWines 2024 State of the State Address

On Wednesday, April 10th, I was honored to have been invited as a guest of State Representative Sara Carruthers for Governor Mike DeWine’s 2024 State of the State Address.  In it, the Governor unveiled his plan for Ohio and the successes the state has had since he took office in 2019.  The Governor stressed yet again the importance of investing in our youth, noting that by investing in children today, we are investing in the Ohio of tomorrow.  Governor DeWine shared his address amid a volatile period with the Ohio General Assembly that saw numerous election allies of Governor DeWine losing primary battles, as well as the override of his veto of HB 68, better known as the SAFE Act.

Taking place in the Ohio Statehouse, all branches of the government of the State of Ohio gathered under one roof to partake in the historic annual address.  The State of the State Address is similar to the President’s State of the Union, although obviously, the chief executive of a State is a governor and the governor, annually, gives an annual address from the progress of their administrations to the plan going forward, and some have used the State of the State as a forum to tease elections for other offices such as Fmr. Ohio Governor John Kasich’s 2015 State of the State address preceded his run for President in 2016.

Gov. DeWine’s State of the State Address, the 5th one of his tenure as Governor of Ohio, focused on children.  He spoke on the science of reading, a plan he wants applied in Ohio’s education system, particularly in the developmental stages of early learning in childhood.  Additionally, Gov. DeWine created the Children’s Vision Strike Force, tasked with providing comprehensive care to children who fail eye exams offered by schools so that disadvantaged kids who rely on in-school testing can receive the proper treatment to excel.

“We must do more to ensure that all Ohio children get to the starting line”, Gov. DeWine emphasized in speaking on child care, “That’s why we’re revising Ohio’s child care rating system to simplify and reduce paperwork, focus on better child outcomes, and for the first time ever provide our quality rated programs access to curriculum that’s aligned with the science of reading.”

Gov. DeWine focused also on recent issues that have affected other states and in particular, the issue of phones in schools.  The Governor urged the legislature to push forward legislation that will limit phone usage in schools and in turn, the idea is, to make schools more sociable again and curb the mental health crisis in Ohio today.

“Our children today are more isolated, more anxious, more depressed, and more suicidal, there are a lot of factors impacting the behavioral health of our children.  But likely number one on the list is the use of smartphones and access to social media.”  Gov. DeWine continued later adding, “When you talk to teachers in schools, schools that have actually removed phones during the lunch period, they will tell you the change is miraculous.  Guess what, without phones, the lunchroom is noisy again.  Instead of having their heads down buried in their phones, kids are talking and interacting and laughing and enjoying themselves.  A number of Ohio schools have made the decision to eliminate smartphone use during the school day and I believe clearly that is the right decision.”

Gov. DeWine also renewed calls for past endeavors that his administration has been working on for Ohioans.  Among those endeavors include the Governor’s strong push for a flavored vape ban in Ohio.  Gov. DeWine has said in the past that it’s the flavors his office believes are the main attraction for kids to take up vaping.  He has frequently stated that banning flavored vapes is essential to his goal as governor to create an Ohio where all Ohioans can live up to their full God-given potential.

Throughout his speech, Gov. DeWine remarked on the successes already seen and the road ahead.  Particularly the Governor touted the success seen in First Lady Fran DeWine’s partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which has provided thousands of children across Ohio of all ages with access to books and reading.  He also honored the recent passing of Fmr. OH Senate President Stanley Aronoff (whom the Aronoff Center named after), and Fmr. State Representative Brigid Kelley, who lost her battle with cancer in late March of this year, as well as other recent deaths of former Ohio politicians.

Gov. DeWine concluded his 2024 State of the State Address saying,

“This is our time to band together, to work together, to be resourceful, to be innovating, to be optimistic, to inspire, and yes to lead.  And when we do this, when we do this, this will be Ohio’s finest hour.  Thank you, may God bless Ohio.”

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About the Writer
Benjamin Nguyen
Ben is a Junior at Lakota West High School.  There he serves as the Junior Class Representative of Student Government as well as plays for the Lakota West boys Tennis team.  This is his second year of Journalism and usually writes his passions and interests for the website.  He likes to talk politics, history, philosophy, and theology, as well as just casually talking with good friends.  He is South Vietnamese American, Christian, and 16 years old.  While Ben was born in Columbus, he considers his hometown Hamilton, OH, as he lived there for the first 10 years of his life.  

“The first step towards failure is bringing it up”

Ben Nguyen

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