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Republicans reject Democratic push for increased transparency of taxpayer money

Keep taxpayers in the dark on JobsOhio's secret dealings with symbolic, duplicative bill
November 15, 2018
Democratic Newsroom

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today responded to the Ohio House Republicans’ rejection of a Democratic amendment to increase transparency and accountability of JobsOhio, a nonprofit corporation funded by Ohio taxpayers that remains shrouded in secrecy and unbound by Ohio transparency laws.

“HB 40 would create something that already exists, it’s called the state budget and it’s available online. Instead of throwing taxpayer money around to duplicate current systems, let’s use this opportunity to increase transparency and accountability at JobsOhio, a nonprofit corporation funded by taxpayers and shrouded in secrecy,” said Smith.

Smith offered the amendment during debate on House Bill (HB) 40, a Republican-sponsored bill to create a new Ohio State Government Expenditure Database on the state treasurer’s website. The legislation specifically carves out JobsOhio to prevent public scrutiny instead of holding it to the same standard as every other state agency.

“With dozens of JobsOhio employees making six figures and Ohio’s jobs numbers lagging behind the rest of the country over the past five years, JobsOhio needs more oversight not less,” Smith said. “But time and again, the GOP has allowed JobsOhio to operate in the cloak of darkness, and that must end.”

Governor-elect Mike DeWine publicly indicated over the last several months that he would like to see more transparency and accountability from JobsOhio under his administration.

“Governor-elect DeWine said he wants transparency and accountability. Opening the books and holding JobsOhio accountable to Ohio taxpayers on Day One would be a great first step to fulfill that campaign promise,” Smith added.