Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine promises focus on health issues

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2019, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during a public inauguration ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, in Columbus, Ohio. DeWine is expected to push for an increase in Ohio’s gas tax and promote efforts to fight the opioid epidemic Tuesday, March 5 in his first State of the State speech as governor. The Republican is also expected to highlight programs he’s advocated to improve the lives of children. DeWine is bringing the event back to Columbus following the decision by his predecessor, Gov. John Kasich, to hold seven of eight speeches in cities around Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool, File)

Gov. Mike DeWine has promised a new push to address health issues in Ohio including opioid overdose deaths and infant mortality.

The Republican governor announced in Tuesday’s State of the State speech the creation of a new public health fund that will use public and private dollars on treatment and prevention programs.

He says the money for local communities will support treatment and recovery programs and help children and adults suffering from mental illness and addiction.

DeWine says he’s directing his cabinet directors overseeing mental health issues, aging, human services, health and others to focus on these issues.

The governor is also calling on renewed efforts to preserve water quality in the state and in particularly Lake Erie.