BEAVERCREEK — Gov. John Kasich will spend his final two years in office stressing innovation and technology.
Speaking Jan. 31 to elected officials and other Miami Valley-area dignitaries at Beavercreek’s Riverside Research, Kasich said the area is no longer the rust belt and it should stop living in the past.
“We’ve never been forward thinking,” he said. “The future means you have to take risks. Human nature is you want to be comfortable. (But) we’re trying to take technology into the 21st century.”
That’s what he is asking for in his 2018-19 budget. Whether it’s using data analytics to improve highway safety or using cloud-best testing to improve cybersecurity, Kasich wants the State of Ohio to be fully on board.
“This drive toward technology, toward innovation … is really where we want to be,” he said.
One example is the work being done at Riverside Research. The company’s new open innovation center includes a 17,00-pound plasma vacuum chamber that can pump out all the available air and simulate outer space. The company is also researching machine learning, during which computers help do rapid pattern recognition to automate various processes such as analyzing video from an airport. It can be used to detect something bad from happening before it happens.
Kasich also plans to ask the state legislature to allow speed limits to change hour-by-hour and day-by-day to make the highway system operate smoother and safer. Interstate 670 in Columbus would be the test area, where the speed limit could be lowered to 45 miles per hour during rush hour and the should would open to traffic to allow more traffic flow.
Other ares that could be influenced by Kasich’s budget include medicaid, health care and the cost of medicine.
Exactly how much these initiatives will cost is unknown but Kasich said most of his ideas don’t “cost a fortune.” In fact, he said it could save the state some money up front and some in the long run.
“There’s many things in the future that have great potential,” Kasich said. “People’s quality of life is going to change. This is really terrific stuff. It goes along with the rest of the budget.”
Kasich didn’t go over other specifics of his budget. But when prodded he did say that local government funding — which many city leaders including Xenia’s said caused a projected cash flow shortage — will not return.
“(Municipalities) have got to manage too,” Kasich said. “Stop whining and get fixing.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.