Issue 1 would create jobs

Bethany Jones

Issue 1, a proposed amendment in the Tuesday primary election, will stimulate economic growth and create jobs in Ohio.

The amendment, a $2 billion economic bond, would allow the State of Ohio to issue bonds to pay or help local governments pay for roads, bridges and storage and treatment facilities.

“It’s about Ohio competing in the future,” said Mark Rickel, press secretary for Gov. Bob Taft. “It’s all about creating jobs, no matter what the business sector.”

If passed, Issue 1 would allow the General Assembly to pass laws on all state funding for development purposes, and it would put restrictions on private investors’ ability to purchase private property.

The amendment would also allow the state to issue bonds to provide financial assistance for research and development in areas such as Ohio industry, business and commerce.

The state would be able to issue general obligation bonds that would help in the payment of projects for the purpose of developing sites. This would include commerce, distribution, research and development and constructing and improving facilities, site preparation and cleanup.

A majority vote is needed for the amendment to pass; it will become effective immediately. Information on Issue 1 can be found on the Web site for the Ohio Secretary of State, at

Those in favor of issue 1 argue that it creates jobs and keeps existing jobs in Ohio without increasing taxes. Repayment of bonds is in Ohio’s long range budget plan.

Two-thirds of the funds will go to local government to pay for building and renovating infrastructure. Issue 1 renews a local government program that passed in 1987 and in 1995; it was then part of Issue 2.

Rickel said Issue 1 will keep graduates in Ohio and will create jobs for the next decade.

“College students have a concern about where they are going to work when they get a degree,” he said. “They (students) got their education here and we need to provide the jobs so they stay here.”

Those against issue 1 argue that its passage will cause long-term debt.

State Representative Tom Brinkman Jr. said Issue 1 is nothing but corporate welfare that is given to business corporations.

He said it requires bigger portions of the operating budget to be spent, which would cause other cuts.

“The governor seems to like to cut higher ed and I have two children at Miami University and I know what it means when the general assembly and the governor have been in cahoots to cut higher ed; it means higher tuition costs for everyone.” He said. “That is what will happen because they’ve got to get the money from somewhere to pay down these bonds.”

“It (Issue 1) will not give the results that they claim, it will just get rich the corporate owners of the administration, and that’s spoken as a republican.”

Sy Thompson, director at the Office of Economic Development in Ravenna, said Issue 1 in an investment in Ohio’s future.

“Of course it’s going to cause long-term debt, that’s what a bond is,” he said. “However, its an investment that will pay itself out.”

Contact public affairs reporter Bethany Jones at [email protected]