He spoke out about Ohio's recovery and economic health. He also pledged new investments in Appalachia, and called for greater efforts to treat mental illness.
Even though the governor was undergoing a reelection campaign, he did not propose any major initiatives in his hour-long speech. He instead recited a list of accomplishments, and mostly ignored the difficult parts of his first term.
He highlighted Intel's recent announcement of a $20 billion investment in two semiconductor factories. This will create thousands of new jobs for the state. He also praised the efforts of residents to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
"You rallied together. You made incredible sacrifices. DeWine stated that Ohioans have shown the world their resilience.
DeWine gave his last State of the State address on March 5, 2019, after the pandemic cancelled the two previous annual addresses.
Due to conservative anger over his efforts to stop the spread of the pandemic, DeWine will face a four-way GOP primary in mai. Next week, he snubbed the chance to debate his three far right challengers.
Indirectly, the governor kept politics out of the speech. Instead, he promoted the idea that the state's time is now. This was illustrated by projects like the Intel investment.
"Ohio is making a lot of noise, and people will have to pay close attention to what we are doing." DeWine said that we are indeed coming for it all, echoing Joe Burrow's words before the Super Bowl.
The Ohio unemployment rate in January was slightly lower this year than it was during the March 2020 pandemic. However, the state's workforce has declined by approximately 190,000. Many companies are still having difficulty finding workers.
DeWine opened the Ohio House chamber speech with references to the war on Ukraine.
Bohdan John Danylo of the Ukrainian Catholic Episty of Saint Josaphat, in Parma, offered the opening prayer. DeWine's first words were about the war.
"On behalf the people of Ohio and all those who love freedom, we salute the Ukrainian people. DeWine declared, "Glory to the heroes."
The governor spoke for more than 10 minutes about Ohio's need to improve mental health care. He also promised to increase investment in Appalachia as well as strengthen programs that benefit students.
He also praised his administration's efforts for law enforcement. This contrasted with calls to defund police officers, which prompted a standing ovation from the Republican-dominated legislature. Democrats pointed out that the governor canceled the state's concealed weapon permit requirement earlier this month. This was in spite of opposition from law enforcement groups.
DeWine did not mention the possibility that Ohio could have to move its May 3, primary. The Ohio Redistricting Commission (of which DeWine is a part) has failed three times in adopting a new set constitutional legislative maps.
DeWine did not mention a ongoing $60million bribery scheme, which included the passage of a 2019 bill signed by the governor bailing out two nuclear power stations. Larry Householder, former Republican House Speaker, was charged in the scandal. He was removed from office last summer.
Attorneys representing investors in utility giant FirstEnergy Corp. said for the first time that the former chief executive of the company and a high-ranking official coordinated payments to government officials.
The governor has been criticised by many Republicans over the last two years for his efforts in slowing the spread of the pandemic. DeWine admitted at the beginning of his speech that "no governor or General Assembly agree on anything."
He later touched on two of these disagreements. He asked lawmakers to pass a stalled plan to increase penalties for violent felons. This was part of a package DeWine offered following the August 2019 Dayton mass shooting. He also requested that lawmakers pass a bill to crack down on distracted driving, which is also stuck in the Legislature.
Democrats later criticized the governor's inability to concentrate more on gun control and redistricting chaos.