Today, Americans for Tax Reform congratulates Governor-elect John  Kasich and House Speaker-elect Bill Batchelder on Tuesday’s historic electoral victories in Ohio. Both Kasich and Batchelder have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written promise to oppose all tax increases. They have made a written commitment to constituents to work together in solving Ohio’s budget crisis while taking the threat of tax increases entirely off the table.

Kasich and Batchelder join 22 Pledge signers in the state legislature. With Ohio’s budget $8 billion in the red, a number of tax increases have been floated in recent months. Those proposals are now effectively off the table.

ATR President Grover Norquist issued the following statement:

“Until you take tax increases definitively off the table, spending restraint and reform is impossible. That has sadly been the case for years in Ohio, as taxes have been on the perpetual rise to fund Columbus’s overspending problem. With the election of John Kasich and the elevation of Bill Batchelder to Speaker of the House, those days are officially over

“Kasich and Batchelder, along with 14 newly elected Pledge signers in the state House, have been elected with a mandate to get government under control without raising taxes. It is a commitment voters take very seriously: The only incumbent in Ohio to break his Pledge and vote for Ted Strickland’s income tax hike was defeated soundly on Tuesday.

“Now the hard work begins. I urge Gov. Kasich and Speaker Batchelder to act on serious reforms such as reining in Ohio’s out-of-control government employee compensation, eliminating forced unionization mandates, and abolishing the state’s job-killing estate tax. I am confident that when we look back on Ohio’s economic resurgence, we will point to the conservative leadership of John Kasich and Bill Batchelder as its impetus.”