It is a tradition for the Governor of Ohio to tour the State Fair and help open it with a ceremony on the first day.
Wednesday, Governor John Kasich kept his remarks relatively short at that opening ceremony and finished with a proclamation.
“Let’s cut the ribbon, let’s get in the fairgrounds, let’s ride the rides, eat the food and have a great time,” said Kasich.
Safety, especially of the amusement rides, will be watched closely this year.
A year prior tragedy struck as one of the amusement rides broke injuring several and killing one.
Tyler Jarrell lost his life that day.
Nine months later a bill was introduced into the Ohio General Assembly that addresses the safety of the kinds of amusement rides found at the fair.
That bill has only had one hearing since it was introduced late this spring.
When asked where his administration was at in terms of helping move the bill along, Kasich confirmed he thought it was important to increase enforcement.
“We’re working through [the bill]. I’ve got my legislative guys working with the House. What you’d like to see get done is something that can pass, something that makes a lot of sense,” said Kasich.
The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee, which is scheduled to meet jointly with the Senate Agriculture Committee next week at the fair.
I have been told the bill will not be on the agenda, instead, lawmakers will hear from youth leaders.
Kasich toured the fair as he does every year, hitting some of his favorite spots.
He chose not to visit the amusement ride portion of the fair and insists the State is doing everything it can to make sure things are safe this year.
“Whether it’s the setups; whether it’s the additional inspections; following all the standards, we’ve done that before; we’re doubling down now just so people can feel as though we’re really focused on this,” said Kasich.
He would go on to encourage people to come out and enjoy the fair.
“Understand there is always a risk, but we feel good about it,” said Kasich.