Outside, however, hundreds of protestors lambasted the very policies the governor was celebrated for inside.
The Governor's 2014 State of the State address received ample applause for several mentions: reforming education, helping the poor through job creation, supporting addiction treatment, abolishing the death tax, creating a mentorship program for students and an emotional dedication to three young women held captive for a decade in a
If there was apprehension among the audience, they bit their tongues instead of voicing frustration with anything the governor said.
The speech focused largely on education and maintaining a "jobs-friendly environment." That means balancing the budget, creating regulatory predictability for businesses, slashing the tax rate below 5 percent and holding tightly to a
"We've made long overdue investments in education," Kasich told the crowd of more than 1,000 dignitaries and about 50 who were not invited.
While the Governor touted "the largest increase in education funding in a decade," protestors recalled
"He doesn't consider public education something that's important to him," said
Joining Hamman was
Knight and other educators charged that some "specialty schools," notably charter schools, draw funds away from traditional public schools, which must take "all children," Knight said.
Charter schools didn't make the laundry list of education initiatives that padded the Governor's hour-long speech.
Kasich did, however, introduce several other education initiatives: a state match on mentoring programs, free college credits for experienced veterans, a call to curb the 24,000 yearly dropouts and the push for vocational training as early as 7th grade.
While the crowd outside might have scoffed at Kasich's proposals, one retired educator found herself in a sea of supporters, bobbing up and down for the frequent applause.
"I was joking with the people behind me, 'Oh my gosh, this is my workout for the day," said
Huffman found herself "ready to sign up" for the Governor's proposed mentorship program, which would bridge faith-based and business groups with teachers and communities.
She relished Kasich's speech and rebuked notions that
Democrats speak out
One group that attended the speech and freely offered their dissidence was House and Senate Democrats, led by a tight-lipped
Schiavoni chided the Governor's track record on helping the poor, saying he has instead cut food assistance for those in poverty. He also downplayed Kasich's call to "balance the budget" as a constitutional requirement that any governor must follow.
And on education, the centerpiece of Kasich's speech, Schiavoni came out swinging.
"He talks about giving schools [increases]," Schiavoni told the press. "If you ask any superintendent across the state, they're going to tell you the struggle."
Admiration of Speaker
Outside, not surprisingly, the crowds were less than impressed.
"We won't miss him," said environmental activist
Jones said Batchelder's efforts to thwart a severance tax on extracted fossil fuels, proposed by the governor, and efforts to stall other bills that would bring added regulation to the gas and oil industry have been frustrating, especially coming from her local legislator.
"We're all disappointed about it. He's made sure nothing goes to vote," she said, joining other voices of dissention standing in front of the Saint Francis Xavier cemetery across the street.
Their chant -- "Hey, hey. Ho, ho.
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