Thursday, January 27, 2011

JobsOhio Passes from House Committee, Awaits Vote on the House Floor

COLUMBUS—Am. Sub. House Bill 1 today passed out of the Finance and Appropriations Committee, which marks a crucial step toward a more efficient and responsive economic development effort in Ohio. It will require the governor of Ohio to establish a nine-member, non-profit corporation called JobsOhio, envisioned to be a cutting-edge economic development entity tasked with business recruitment, job creation and job training within the state.

“During the past decade, Ohio has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, and it’s clear that we need to explore more effective options for growing jobs in our state,” said the chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, State Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster). “We need leadership that understands how business works and knows what companies look for in a state business climate. I believe that JobsOhio will help establish a better environment for job creation.”

Am. Sub. House Bill 1 also instructs the director of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) to evaluate all functions and duties within the department and submit recommendations to improve the department’s functioning and efficiency to the General Assembly. It does not abolish ODOD but instead calls for six months of study, during which all interested parties can participate before further legislative action is pursued.

“Through the passage of this legislation, Ohio will be able to field a top-flight economic development team that speaks the language of business and moves at the pace of today’s global economy,” said Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington), who is the sponsor of House Bill 1. “The slow, bureaucratic pace of state government is simply not able to keep up in an increasingly competitive and mobile economy. We need to make sure that the people leading our economic development efforts understand business and job creation and can help Ohio compete in the 21st century.”

Am. Sub. House Bill 1 will now move to the House floor, where it is expected receive a vote by the full chamber next week.