JobsOhio II legislation passed the House and heads to the Senate; outlines duties for JobsOhio and the Development Services Agency

With JobsOhio established to primarily handle Ohio's economic development efforts, legislators and the Kasich administration are restructuring what’s left of the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD). This week, the Ohio House voted 91-5 to send the Senate a proposal designed to reorganize the ODOD.  The new department will be known as the Development Services Agency (DSA) and legislative leaders hope to pass the bill by the end of May.

As cited in our March 27, 2012 DevelopOhio blog post, in addition to renaming the ODOD, the bill would allow the development director to expedite approval of tax credits; create a pilot program called TourismOhio to provide a dedicated funding source for tourism marketing throughout the state; eliminate the Development Financing Advisory Council (DFAC), a panel that decides whether to recommend approval of low-interest loans for companies to expand or relocate in Ohio; and increase financing opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

The plan is for JobsOhio to handle low-interest loans, grants, tax credits, and “close-the-deal” discretionary funds. The DSA will oversee JobsOhio in executing those loans and tax credits and will provide an additional range of services such as technology assistance, workforce training, and revitalizing abandoned industrial sites. The proposed legislation also includes another public record restriction related to JobsOhio. Some critics, including Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, have raised concerns about the lack of transparency of JobsOhio and what might happen should another agency get involved and handle business records.

JobsOhio/ODSA, Legal Developments