Kasich right to veto raises

Vetoing a bill that provides better death benefits and insurance coverage for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty appears at first glance to be a really lousy move.

But Ohio Gov. John Kasich was exactly right to do just that a few days ago. Call it a Christmas present for taxpayers.

Improved benefits for the survivors of slain law officers were only part of the bill. State legislators also used it in an attempt to sneak in big pay raises for themselves and a variety of other local and state officials. Many Buckeye State residents probably did not know such raises were even being considered. After all, it was the holiday season. Lawmakers knew their constituents had plenty of other things on their minds.

Kasich, on the other hand, noted the bill’s original purpose was “very praiseworthy,” but added he could not “support or condone the last-minute rush to include a controversial pay raise.”

So yes, the governor did the right thing. Shame on lawmakers who tried to put a big one over on their constituents.

Obviously, the General Assembly should not simply let the matter die. The bill’s original intent was good and should be pursued. A new bill — without pay increases for public officials included — should be approved and sent to the next governor as soon as possible.

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