Athens Attorney Frank Lavelle and his wife, Jean Ann, hosted the event at their home to benefit the Meigs County Democratic Party.
Strickland cited the new expanded Homestead Exemption program, which reduces real estate taxes for homeowners over 65 years of age and those homeowners who are disabled, as one of the most important initiatives of his administration. The expanded program, passed by the Ohio legislature earlier this year, provides a tax credit to one in four Ohio property owners.
Strickland said the program reduces property taxes for some Meigs County residents by as much as two thirds.
Increased availability of child health care through the state system means all children in the state are insured, Strickland said, and a two-year freeze in tuition at state universities and colleges will help more students get a higher education.
“That’s pretty good for eight months, don’t you think,” Strickland said, “but we still haven’t solved all of our problems.”
Democratic faithful from Athens, Washington, Monroe and other southeastern Ohio counties also attended the event, including many state employees and Strickland appointees. Strickland recognized U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Bridgeport, and Athens City Council Member Debbie Phillips, who will run again for the Ohio House of Representatives again next year.
The governor also discussed the important role Ohio will play in next year’s presidential election, and encouraged Democrats to prepare for a tough campaign. He said Florida, another key state, will likely go to the Republican nominee due to the popularity of its Republican governor, Charlie Crist.
“The race will be decided in Ohio,” Strickland said. “The country and the world are counting on us to save them from another administration like the Bush administration.”