If John Kasich missed an opportunity to tell allies they went too far with controversial budget provisions restricting the health choices of women, he did make good use of his veto pen in other areas. The governor removed 22 items from the budget plan. None was more important than excising a ban on expanding Medicaid, the language denying the executive necessary flexibility.
To a degree, the effort was symbolic, yet the hope is, the Republican legislative leadership soon will join the many others, including business groups, in seeing the value in extending health coverage to a larger share of the state’s low-income households.
Count, too, among the worthy vetoes the governor erasing language that put chiropractors in a category with physicians, giving them the authority to allow a young athlete recovering from a concussion to return to play. As the governor noted, this question already had been decided in a lengthy and complete legislative process, the authority residing exclusively with physicians because of their higher training and greater expertise.
The governor also applied his veto well in halting lawmakers and lobbyists from weakening his administration’s effort to link public funding of nursing homes to higher quality. He rightly explained that the data do not justify the change.
Add three other highlights from the veto message. The governor put the kibosh on a sales tax exemption for research and development of aerospace vehicles. Other industries do not benefit from such relief. He also removed an item that allowed utilities to recover costs from the cleanup of old plants. Even lawmakers acknowledged the language was too broad and required repair.
Finally, the governor vetoed a provision removing the spider monkey from the list of dangerous wild animals. This step stopped the state from backsliding on a new and civilized law, such an exotic animal far removed from your cat or dog.