COLUMBUS -- Two years ago, Gov. John Kasich broke with tradition and took his annual address to the Ohio House and Senate on the road, choosing Steubenville for his State of the State speech.
Last year, he went the opposite direction and offered comments in Lima.
The moves were met with mixed response, with some lawmakers loving the opportunity to travel to different areas and others unhappy that Kasich turned away from the history and custom of Statehouse State of the State speeches.
In coming weeks, we'll find out whether the governor will take to the road again.
There are two directions left to go: north or south. It makes a lot of sense in my mind that Kasich would opt for the latter and pick a place like Portsmouth, where he could tout his efforts to combat prescription drug abuse.
That's just speculation on my part. Since it's a new year, here's some more speculation on coming activities at the Statehouse:
Election reform: There's a handful of Republican-backed election reform bills awaiting final action in the legislature, including changes to laws that would affect absentee ballots, "golden week," online voter registration and other issues.
Those bills will have to move soon in order for the provisions to be in place in advance of the spring primary.
And if they do, that means weeks or months of debate and public criticism from Democrats and other opponents of such law changes, who view them as an attempt by the Republican-controlled House and Senate to make it harder for left-leaning voters to cast ballots.
Mid-Biennium Review: Last year, Kasich offered his first mid-biennium budget legislation, a massive package of policy and law changes that kept lawmakers hopping during what was supposed to be a less intensive session.
The administration has indicated another mid-biennium review is in the works and will be offered in coming weeks.
We don't know a lot of specifics yet, but it's hard to imagine any resulting legislation without another attempt to cut Ohio's tax rates.
Kasich made it clear during a year-end speech to chamber of commerce groups that he wants more tax cuts, so it's a safe bet that he will pursue additional reform.
"We have to do it," Kasich said of tax cuts. "If you want Ohio to move faster, we have to reduce this personal income tax. Seventeen billion dollars walked out of this state since 1995. Where's it go? Anybody want to guess? Florida, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee. Guess what all of them have in common: no income tax. We need to reduce these taxes for another way in which we can encourage people to move to our state."
Elections: The May primary is shaping up to be an interesting contest, with potential challengers for Kasich and for the endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
Ted Stevenot, past president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition and a leader in the state's Tea Party movement, is expected to announce his candidacy in coming days, giving conservatives who are unhappy with Kasich's decision to expand Medicaid another option in the GOP primary.
And Todd Portune, a Hamilton County commissioner, is pushing his own candidacy as the Democratic candidate for governor, positioning himself against Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald in the Democratic primary.
Third-party candidates are also making their moves, with four Libertarian candidates planning to file petitions for the ballot in the next month.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at email@example.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.
Oops, the Tea Party is looking for a new candidate. Stevenot dropped out.
Tea Party candidate Ted Stevenot's running mate, Brenda Mack of Canfield, has tax issues. She is linked to nearly $60,000 in unpaid state and federal taxes and penalties. Who's vetting these people?