- Laura A. Bischoff Columbus bureau
Maybe it was because Gov. John Kasich hadn’t had an Ohio press conference in quite some time, but on Wednesday he fielded a wide range of questions from reporters.
Here is some news he made:
Redistricting: The governor plans to include congressional redistricting reform in his two-year state budget bill and it’ll mirror the changes made for how legislative districts will be drawn in the future. If lawmakers don’t like it in the budget bill, Kasich said they can take it out “and then answer for it.”
Obamacare: Kasich is concerned that Obamacare may be repealed without a replacement plan ready to go and what that means for 700,000 Ohioans now covered under expanded Medicaid, which is a component of the Affordable Care Act. “The fact of the matter is, we have a lot more people covered. If that went away, what happens to these people?”
Abortion: The governor said he is “pretty satisfied” with abortion restrictions as they now stand in Ohio “but I don’t know what the Legislature is thinking about and we’ll deal with it on an issue by issue basis.” Kasich vetoed a controversial bill that would have banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. But he signed into law a measure outlawing the procedure after 20 weeks gestation.
Taxes: Don’t expect a big net tax cut tucked into the upcoming state budget bill, but there will be some tax changes, he said. The governor still supports lowering the state income tax rates.
New book: Kasich said his latest book is in the hands of his publisher, though it still needs some work. The governor, who authored three books already, wrote the latest one on his experience running for president in 2016. There is no publication date or title just yet, he said.