As Ohio recognizes March 16-22 as Sunshine Week, dark shadows continue to prevent taxpayers from seeing inside the state’s controversial economic development entity, JobsOhio.
JobsOhio has attracted the scrutiny of local and national media, good government groups and the public for its use of taxpayer dollars without taxpayer transparency and accountability. Media outlets have discovered potential conflicts of interest and misappropriations of public funds, yet Gov. Kasich and Ohio’s GOP have used their absolute control of state government to pass a law—Senate Bill 67—that expressly prohibits public state audits of the entity.
My Democratic colleagues and I have introduced legislation to remedy the shortcomings Ohio has faced with transparency and accountability. We have put forth bold proposals to increase public accountability and transparency at JobsOhio, disclose the value of corporate tax credits and disclose public assistance use by corporations.
Our efforts face stiff opposition, yet we will continue to fight for Ohioans’ right to see how their government works—or doesn’t.
While Sunshine Week highlights the importance of open government, transparency and accountability cannot be achieved through symbolism. Legislative Democrats have shown that actions speak louder than words. It is time for our Republican colleagues to do the same.
-State Rep. John Patrick Carney