Gov. Gives Amanda, Gina & Michelle Courage Medals

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MEDINA, Ohio-- Ohio Governor John Kasich delivered his State of the State address Monday night at the Medina Performing Arts Center.

medals2One of the highlights was when the governor gave Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight the 2014 Ohio Courage Medals.

He said the three women, who were kidnapped and held hostage for a decade, "broke out into freedom."

During his speech, the governor talked of a reduced state deficit, his goal to cut more taxes, create jobs and offer help for minority businesses and veterans.

He also spoke about ways of better educating children in Ohio, using Cleveland's school transformation plan as an example.

"It's a new day and a new way in the city of Cleveland for our children. They're on a path to excellence," Kasich said.

Governor Kasich also addressed the increasing heroin and drug addiction problem affecting the state.

"We don't want them to ever use them because rehab is so difficult. It's like having an alligator chasing you around in your living room; you gotta constantly feed them before he eats you," he said.

People in the audience had mixed reactions to the speech.

"I thought the initiatives that they're doing for our veterans was good, getting the engagement out there, getting our veterans back to work throughout the state of Ohio. I'm proud to see our governor working on that," said Medina resident, Ed Zackery.

"The words are nice, but the actions are not supporting those kinds of initiatives we heard tonight. It was sort of a rehash of what already exists," said District 13 State Representative Nikki Antonio.

Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) released the following statement after the governor's State of the State address:

“Tonight Governor Kasich attempted to gloss over the failure of his administration to adequately address high unemployment in Ohio. Over the past year, Ohio’s unemployment rate has gone up more than any other state in the country and 31,000 more Ohioans are out of work today than a year ago. Unfortunately, the Governor’s response has been to propose further income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. And we can’t forget he also raised the state sales tax and inflicted drastic cuts on our schools and local communities.
 
“Ohio is on the wrong path. Too many working and middle class families are being left behind by policies that benefit a fortunate few. The upcoming Mid-Biennium Budget (MBR) will be an opportunity to take a new path that focuses on job creation, tax fairness and new investments in schools and healthcare. I encourage the Governor to work with Democrats in the General Assembly on policies and priorities that benefit all Ohioans.”

Governor Kasich also announced that the State Highway Patrol post in Medina would be named in honor of retiring House Speaker William Batchelder, who is from Medina.

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