Gov. Visits New Bremen

NEW BREMEN — Gov. John Kasich discussed where budget negotiations are going, funding for Grand Lake St. Marys, aid programs and school dollars Wednesday night at the American Legion in New Bremen, where he addressed Auglaize County Republicans during the Auglaize County Republican Women’s Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner.

Kasich characterized budget negotiations as optimistic. The governor said he supported the small business tax cut in the Senate, which traded a 7 percent income tax reduction for an approximately 50 percent reduction in the taxes owed by small businesses on their first $750,000.

“That’s just huge for small businesses across the state,” he said.

Despite a $600,000 amendment made that would address Lake Erie’s algae problems, the governor said there wouldn’t be more money for Grand Lake St. Marys, citing lawsuits related to flooding.

While a lot of money had been spent on Grand Lake St. Marys, he said, lawsuits had the potential to run into “millions upon millions” of dollars.

“Those lawsuits could take money away from the treatment of the lake,” Kasich said. “There’s only so many dollars to go to the treatment of these facilities ... Instead of putting money in the pockets of these people who live by a lake that may from time to time see some flooding on their land ... I’d rather put the money into fixing the lake.”

In the case of a property that flooded one time since 1997, he said, the settlement cost more than $1 million that could have been put toward lake cleanup efforts.

“I want that lake to be open, and I want it to be clean, but there’s a limit to how many dollars,” he said noting the lawsuits are becoming a “money grab.”