Ohio economic growth amendment passes

Bethany Jones

Issue 1 passed by a statewide percentage of 53.98 percent in yesterday’s election. The amendment becomes effective immediately.

The amendment stimulates economic growth and creates jobs in Ohio.

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

It allows the Ohio General Assembly to pass laws on all state funding for development purposes and puts restrictions on private investors ability to purchase private property.

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

The state can now issue general obligation bonds to help in the payment of projects for the purpose of developing sites. This includes commerce, distribution, research and development and constructing and improving facilities, site preparation and cleanup.

Issue 1 renews a local government program that passed in 1987 and in 1995; it was then part of Issue 2.

Gov. Bob Taft thanked voters for the approval of Issue 1 in a written statement.

“Through tax reform, tort reform and a slow growth state budget, we have worked hard to improve Ohio’s economy, but we have more work to do. Issue 1 will provide the resources to build on our success and create more good jobs for Ohioans.”

Sue Whitehurst, executive director of Townhall II, said Issue 1 is positive for the community.

Whitehurst said the passage of Issue 1 will leave Portage county stronger and will improve its health.

Whitehurst said she considers the health of a town to be its productivity, economy and infrastructure.

“It’s not directly linked to a non-profit agency, but basically community health is,” she said.

Contact public affairs reporter Bethany Jones at [email protected].