Friday, October 31st, 2014

Kasich making progress on some campaign promises

Gov. John Kasich has said success should be judged by results.
Gov. John Kasich has said success should be judged by results.

Candidate John Kasich made lots of promises about what he'd do as Gov. John Kasich.

We identified 21 specific promises he repeated several times on the campaign trail, most of which deal with taxes, the state budget and education.

We've updated four in the last few weeks.

Teacher pay based on performance

Kasich railed about teachers getting raises simply because of their contracts. A better approach, he said, would be to tie raises for teachers to their performance in the classroom.

"We pay good teachers more, but I'm going to suggest that we hold all teachers accountable. Teachers who can't teach shouldn't be in the classroom. ... If we've got teachers who can't do the job there's no excuse for leaving them in the classroom. But the good ones — we'll pay them more," he said at one campaign appearance.

Legislation that reworked the state"s collective bargaining rules for public employees did just that. Known as Senate Bill 5, it included provisions for merit-based pay for teachers. Kasich signed the bill on March 31, prompting us to update the Kasich-O-Meter.

Revamp the state's collective bargaining law for public employees

Kasich made it clear that he wanted to overhaul the 30-year-old law allowing collective bargaining for public workers.

Striking public employees should be fired, he said. Binding arbitration provisions from outside negotiators hurt financially-strapped cities, he argued.

"You are forcing increased taxes on taxpayers with them having no say," Kasich said in December before he took office.

Senate Bill 5 did revamp the collective bargaining rules. And while the law hasn't taken effect yet, and may be stalled by a referendum effort, we updated the Kasich-O-Meter.

Eliminate prevailing wage rules on public construction projects

The prevailing wage issue was one that separated Kasich from then-Gov. Ted Strickland. It was Strickland who instituted the rule that prevailing wages be paid on state funded contracts after his election in 2006.

In Kasich's view that rule just made it harder for public bodies to pay for public projects.

"I've never been for prevailing wage because it drives up the cost, " he said during an interview.

The Ohio School Facilities Commission, which oversees school construction, stripped school districts of the authority to require contractors to pay union-scale wages or to require the use of union workers through project labor agreements. That prompted us to update the Kasich-O-Meter.

Preserve the delayed income tax reduction

To help fill a budget shortfall, Strickland, with backing of the legislature, delayed the fifth phase of the five-year, 21-percent income tax reduction.

The reduction took affect Jan. 1, 2011, and Kasich said he intends to leave it in place despite the need to fill an $8 billion hole in  the new state budget that will take affect in July 2011.

Kasich unveiled his first two-year budget proposal in mid March, prompting us to fire up the Kasich-O-Meter to gauge his performance on this promise.

See all of the promises on the Kasich-O-Meter