State representative talks to local GOP

State Rep. Jeff McClain spoke about the state’s budget and other policies being discussed in Columbus at a Seneca County Republican Party meeting Monday night.

McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, said Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, is planning to present the budget next week, and said this budget will be more difficult than last year’s.

“It’s going to be an exciting time I think, because we’ve got a governor who’s willing to try to do what he can to make things right, and to change things,” he said. “We’re going to have some major bits of policy in this.”

He said Kasich is supporting a severance tax, which he hopes to use to lower income tax. McClain said Kasich’s ultimate goal is to get rid of income tax.

McClain said he expects to see changes in school funding.

“I think anything is on the table, as far as educational reform,” he said.

He said the two most important aspects to making sure a student succeeds are the student’s parents and the teachers in the classroom.

McClain said the state should be paying the best teachers the most, and give educators and students incentives to achieve.

“We need to make sure we are incentivizing the teachers,” he said. “If you’re the one who’s working hard, you deserve something.”

McClain also spoke about a bill that would reform the way municipal income taxes are collected.

He said the bill is likely to pass, but the state is working with the smaller cities and villages to make it less financially damaging than the original version of the bill.

He said last year the House and Senate passed a bill that would give local governments back some money that the state had cut, but Kasich vetoed it.

Tiffin City Councilman Rich Cline, who is running for council president in the May election, asked McClain to be an advocate in bringing a four-lane highway to Seneca County.

McClain said bringing a highway to Seneca County would be a “tough sell.”

“We would really like to see our local representatives try to bring a four-lane divided highway to Seneca County so that our locally grown and established businesses can help grow their business,” Cline said.

McClain said he “guaranteed” that there will not be any stricter gun laws passed in the state.

He said problems including the break up of families and mental health play into gun violence.

Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry said he encourages people to get their concealed carry licenses, but also to make sure they train with their gun as well.

McClain said some members also are looking to push for a Right-to-Work law in Ohio.

In a brief address, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said the city will be looking into changing the laws that allow non-union city employees to collect their unused sick- and compensation-time after they retire.