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Published: Wednesday, 3/14/2012

Kasich breaks with tradition with 2nd budget

Seeks tax, education and program changes


COLUMBUS — Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is drawing upon the example of Congress by proposing a second-year budget in a state that writes its budget every second year.

Kasich review proposes sweeping changes to state energy, education, Medicaid and tax policy. It includes a tax hike on oil and gas drillers that he would direct to an eventual income-tax cut. During an announcement Wednesday, Kasich said the plan consolidates government programs to save $90 million.

Budget director Tim Keen says that as U.S. House budget chairman in the 1990s, Kasich became accustomed to the cycle of annual budgets in Washington.

The difference for Kasich at the state level is that Ohio's two-year operating budget must be passed by a constitutionally mandated deadline. It also must be balanced.

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