The Latest: Ohio governor wants to fight opiate abuse

MARIETTA, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on activities surrounding Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State address (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) is laying out a series of steps for dealing with the opiate abuse epidemic that’s plaguing the state.

In his State of the State speech Wednesday, the Republican presidential contender called for Ohio to join other states in registering pharmacy technicians. He says registration would include ongoing training and education requirements aimed at identifying and helping prevent the problem. He says a registration program also would allow Ohio to track bad actors.

The governor also has called for restricting painkiller prescriptions. He says each prescription should have to be filled by a pharmacy within 90 days and any prescription that hasn’t been taken to the pharmacy within 30 days should be invalidated.

His plan also calls for intensifying scrutiny on new drug treatment clinics.


7:55 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) says he plans to propose a comprehensive set of changes to the state’s tax code by early next year.

The Republican governor and presidential candidate made the promise during his annual State of the State address in Marietta on Wednesday.

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 says 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.


7:45 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) says he wants to extend more help to the children of active duty military families.

During Wednesday’s State of the State address in Marietta, the Republican presidential contender said a new Military Family Opportunity Scholarship will help these families make the educational choices that are best for their children. He says young people from active duty military families need extra support and encouragement because they move more often than other families, which can be difficult.

He says the state will review ways to expand the new scholarships to children of veterans and to children of members of the Ohio National Guard and the Reserves.


7:30 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) is sounding a unifying message in his annual State of the State address, saying Ohio has a strong history and is improving after temporarily losing its way.

The Republican presidential candidate says the state of the state is getting stronger every day.

Kasich says 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 says 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.”


5:15 p.m.

About a dozen people are protesting hydraulic fracturing and other issues outside the Peoples Bank Theatre in advance of Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) State of the State address.

Fracking involves blasting water and chemicals into shale formations to fracture the rock and release oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids trapped inside. The process involves thousands of gallons of water that becomes contaminated and must be trucked offsite and deposited at special deep-injection facilities.

Phyllis Reinhart was among the demonstrators nearby the theater. She stood gripping a sign that read “Fresh Water Not Frack Water.” She says she lives about 1,800 feet from an injection well in Athens County, and the noise and vibrations from the state are disruptive. She wants the Kasich administration to impose more regulations on the sites.


12:30 a.m.

The city of Marietta is preparing for an influx of officials as Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik), members of his Cabinet, state lawmakers and others descend on the historic city for his annual State of the State speech.

The governor and Republican presidential contender is scheduled to deliver the address at the Peoples Bank Theatre at 7 p.m. Wednesday. It’s his fifth straight year leaving Columbus for the policy speech.

State Chancellor John Carey is among state leaders holding public events around Marietta and Washington County throughout the day. Two of four state legislative leaders plan to fly with Kasich to the speech.

The speech comes 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.

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