COLUMBUS, Ohio: With Ohio's unemployment rate hovering above 11 percent, the announcement Thursday by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray that he will start to review economic development awards made by the state of Ohio to make sure businesses and organization who took the money in exchange for creating or saving jobs are keeping their promises, should be received favorably by Gov. Ted Strickland and lawmakers who know the road to restoring prosperity is years away and growing steeper in incline each day.
The bill and the goal
Acting on a requirement in HB 420, a new law about transparency in government, Cordray said his office is ready to monitor the awards for economic development the state makes.
"Our goal, as defined by statute, "he said, "is to ensure that tax dollars are being used as intended in these awards. Promises were made by businesses and organizations to create and save jobs in Ohio and those promises must be kept."
His office mailed letters our this week to more than 3,000 recipients who received awards over a five year period between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2009. The letter asks these recipients to complete an online report within 30 days, that the AG's office will then analyze and place the data from it in a report to the General Assembly.
"The public expects performance and accountability when the government spends our money for these purposes, and we will work hard to provide exactly that by enforcing the terms of these contracts," Cordray said in a media release.
To view the report, visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/EDAP. The office will also monitor future awards and will report its findings to the General Assembly.