Ohio panel to review gov's tax, education changes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio legislative panel is scheduled to delve into an election-year policy plan from Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) that includes cutting Ohio's income tax through increases in drilling and tobacco taxes.

The Republican governor released details of his proposal on Tuesday. Testimony on the measure is set to begin Wednesday afternoon in the GOP-led Ohio House.

The bill's prospects amid campaign season are uncertain.

Kasich, who faces re-election this fall, proposes cutting income taxes by 8.5 percent over the next three years, taking the top tax rate to 4.88 percent by 2016. Commercial activity, cigarette and drilling taxes would rise to pay for the reduction.

He also proposes streamlining Ohio's workforce development and poverty programs, tying all public-college funding to graduation rates and expanding vocational and dropout education offerings.