Tuesday, February 01, 2011

JobsOhio Passes House Floor Vote; Advances to the Senate -- UPDATED

COLUMBUS—Am. Sub. House Bill 1, which creates a non-profit economic development organization called JobsOhio, today passed from the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 59-37. Its passage marks a crucial step toward fostering a more responsive business climate in the state of Ohio.
“The JobsOhio plan is a common-sense response to an increasingly cutthroat national and international economy,” said Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina). “Unlike government agencies, the privatized JobsOhio will have the ability to keep up with other private businesses and adapt to rapidly changing economic conditions. I’m pleased that this legislation passed from the House and is one step closer to dramatically improving the way Ohio does business.”
Am. Sub. House Bill 1 authorizes the creation of the nine-member board, with the governor as chairman and eight business leaders who understand the private sector. Six members must be Ohio residents, leaving room for two members with a national business perspective.
The legislation also calls for a six-month review of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), which is a $1.2 billion state entity with approximately 400 employees—only about 15 percent of whom directly assist job creation.[1] According to the bill, the director of ODOD is obligated to evaluate all duties within the department and submit recommendations to improve the department’s efficiency to the General Assembly. 
“I’m disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle couldn’t join us in turning around Ohio’s bleak economy and stepping outside of the status quo,” said State Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington), who sponsored the legislation. “I truly believe that there will be nothing more effective in boosting economic development than enlisting the help of people who know firsthand how to create jobs. In order to get Ohio back in the national competition for jobs, we need a strong slate of business-savvy individuals to get our state back on the right track and a state government structure that encourages economic growth.”
Am. Sub. House Bill 1 now moves to the Ohio Senate, where it will undergo further consideration and debate.
[1] Columbus Dispatch, “Editorial: Job No. 1,” 1/26/2011

UPDATE:  State Rep. Mike Dovilla:“My top priority in the legislature reflects the decisive action Ohioans are demanding of our state’s leaders: restoring a business-friendly environment that will create jobs,” said Dovilla.  “I am pleased to co-sponsor and vote for this bold legislation, which represents an innovative approach to economic development that will bring jobs to our state and community.”