AP Interview: Ohio's Kasich enthuses over Davos

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013

When talking with international leaders, Kasich said he emphasizes his willingness to work closely with business — a fact he credits for helping turn Ohio's $8 billion budget deficit into what he says will be a $1 billion surplus.

Among those he held business discussions were U.S.-based Dow Chemical Co. and Philips Healthcare, which announced thousands of layoffs last year and is a part of Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics.

His message: "We're open for business .... If you've got a big idea, come to Ohio."

Kasich is expected to unveil his next state budget plan on Feb. 4. And he anticipates that his proposal to increase taxes on oil and gas drilling will resurface. "You can expect that to come back," he said.

The idea was scuttled last session after heavy lobbying by the oil and gas industry and pushback from opponents of tax increases. Kasich hopes to use proceeds to fund modest income-tax relief across the state.

In the interview, Kasich wouldn't say whether his spending blueprint would include an expansion of Medicaid.

He said "political considerations are at a minimum" as he weighs the issue. That includes potential political fallout to his GOP colleagues in the state Legislature who oppose President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.