Before Yost delivered his speech, he performed a swearing-in ceremony for Meigs County Auditor Mary Byer-Hill. Hill’s daughter Molly held the Bible while her mother was given the oath of office.
Yost, who is both an accountant and lawyer, opened with a joke celebrating the difference between the two — “accountants know they’re boring.”
Though he opened with a joke, Yost touched upon some serious issues many Ohioans are facing. Yost said he’d read that only 28 percent of Americans think it’s possible to get ahead by virtue of their own hard work and he found this troubling, considering his father was a successful, small business owner in Columbus. Despite this, Yost said he was excited to be in office at a time when things can change for the better.
Yost singled out State Sen. Jimmy Stewart, R-Meigs, also at the dinner, supporting him on his recent vote to pass the controversial Senate Bill 5 through the Ohio Senate. SB 5 deals with collective bargaining rights of public employees. Stewart’s vote to pass SB 5 received applause from the audience.
“Politicians in Ohio have been making promises for decades knowing they can’t deliver,” Yost said, explaining those promises have been made to unions and entitlement programs without proper funding. To sum it up, Yost said, politicians had been making promises with tomorrow’s money that they couldn’t keep.
Yost also talked about Senate Bill 4 which will require mandatory performance audits for state agencies and would provide local government agencies with an advance on money to perform these audits — local governments would have one year to pay back the loan for the audit with the hope the audit had helped them learn ways to save money before the bill came due. Yost said the performance audits would reduce the size of government and “do it smart.”
In closing, Yost talked about Ben Franklin being approached by a fellow citizen 10 years after the Declaration of Independence had been signed. The citizen, disappointed in how things were going in American at the time, complained to Franklin who simply said the pursuit of happiness was promised in the document he signed and it’s up to individuals to catch up with that pursuit.