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Governor Proposes Tuition and Budget Cuts, End of Vouchers

In his first State of the State speech, Governor Strickland has laid out a dramatic series of new spending proposals and budget cuts.

Ohio's first Democratic governor in 16 years is proposing that the state spend $1 billion dollars over four years on energy programs to make the state a leader in new energy technologies.

He says he also wants to provide state health insurance for every poor child in Ohio and dramatically expand Medicaid coverage for other poor residents.

Strickland says the budget he will introduce Thursday proposes eliminating the state vouchers, except for the Cleveland program.

He also has outlined record funding increases for Ohio's public colleges and universities. In exchange, tuition would not go up next year and there would be just a 3% hike the following year. During the past 10 years, tuition increases at state-supported schools have averaged 9%.

Along with a moratorium on new charter schools, Strickland wants to ban for-profit companies from managing charters.

The Governor says "tough choices" will be reflected in the budget he will introduce tomorrow.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)