February 14, 2011
Government Agencies Committee to Focus on JobsOhio
~ written by Gary D. Tober, Central Ohio Transit Authority
On February 1, the Ohio House of Representatives approved House Bill 1 (Governor John Kasich’s JobsOhio plan) 59-37 on a strict party-line vote. House Bill 1 was sponsored by Rep. Mike Duffey (R) with the hopes of reviving Ohio’s economic development efforts. JobsOhio will be a private, nonprofit corporation led by a nine-member board of eight business leaders appointed by Governor Kasich with the governor serving as the board’s chairman. House Bill 1 provides an initial $1 million appropriation for JobsOhio’s initial start-up. JobsOhio may also receive additional public and private funds. The legislation also calls for a thorough review of the Ohio Department of Development. The director of the ODOD must evaluate each duty within the department and make recommendations focused on improving efficiency and effectiveness. JobsOhio will likely replace the ODOD and is intended to be structured more like the businesses it hopes to grow and recruit to Ohio.
Many Democrats have raised concerns over JobsOhio’s transparency. Employees will not be considered public employees and the entity will not be considered a state agency. Accordingly, JobsOhio is exempted from Ohio’s open-records, open-meetings and ethics laws. However, it must produce an annual report and be audited yearly by an independent certified public accountant.
On Friday, February 18, the Columbus Bar Government Agencies Committee welcomes Rep. Duffey and Rep. Michael Stinziano (D) to discuss JobsOhio and other issues facing the Ohio House of Representatives. The Committee connects government agencies to the lawyers of Columbus. It also serves as a resource for City, County, State and Federal Government attorneys in and around the Columbus area. The Committee seeks to achieve its mission by inviting monthly speakers to share their thoughts and ideas about government. Please join us for an informative and interactive discussion with our presenters.