John Kasich delivers State of the State address

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MARIETTA, Ohio - The governor and Republican presidential contender delivered State of the State address at the Peoples Bank Theatre on Wednesday. It's his fifth straight year leaving Columbus for the policy speech.

The speech came as pressure mounts on Kasich to drop out of the race for the White House. He delivered a third place finish in Tuesday's Wisconsin primary.

Kasich said he's been grateful to share Ohio's economic story around the country because "people are struggling with the same challenges" Ohio residents have faced and he has brought a message of hope. He said the spirit of the state is in "the person next to you."

Kasich entered the auditorium for his speech with the baby of a state lawmaker in his arms. He says he "couldn't resist that baby."

He said he plans to propose a comprehensive set of changes to the state's tax code by early next year.

The two-year, $71.2 billion state operating budget that took effect July 1 didn't include a proposed tax increase on Ohio oil-and-gas drillers that had been one of his priorities. Legislative leaders created a study panel that dropped the idea.

Kasich said his new plan will include more tax relief and changes that better align Ohio's tax code with the modern economy.

The governor is a supporter of further reducing or eventually eliminating Ohio's income tax.

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