Source: Randy Ludlow, Columbus Dispatch, March 12, 2018
JobsOhio continues to under report the amounts it pays employees — including 34 workers who make at least six-figure annual salaries — in a move that could run contrary to state law. In its 2017 filings with the state, Gov. John Kasich’s privatized economic development agency again reported employees’ taxable income — which does not include salary diverted to non-taxable retirement contributions and health insurance costs — instead of their gross income. State law requires the nonprofit to report “total compensation.” But its practice of reporting only taxable income serves to understate employee earnings by thousands of dollars each. …
Justices again rule JobsOhio can’t be challenged
Source: Randy Ludlow, Columbus Dispatch, August 31, 2016
The Ohio Supreme Court stood on identical ground Wednesday to reject another attempt to declare JobsOhio unconstitutional. In a 6-1 vote, the court ruled that Victoria Ullmann, a Columbus lawyer, lacked the legal right — or standing — to pursue her action seeking to declare Gov. John Kasich’s privatized economic development agency as illegal. … The court threw out another challenge to JobsOhio in 2014 on grounds the parties lacked proper standing, leaving some to question then if the legality of the nonprofit could ever be questioned in the courts. Ullmann argued she had standing to sue since she, and other Ohioans, support JobsOhio through their purchase of liquor, the profits from which support the entity under its long-term lease of state’s liquor sales enterprise. … Ullmann sued Kasich, Secretary of State Jon Husted and Auditor Dave Yost, asking that the court order the Republicans to take steps to dissolve JobsOhio. A spokesman for Attorney General Mike DeWine, who defended the officeholders, said his office was pleased with the ruling. … JobsOhio reported earlier this year it attracted a record 23,602 new jobs and $6.7 billion in corporate investment in 2015. The agency reported revenue of slightly more than $1 billion last year, largely from the state’s liquor-sales operation, which racked up record sales last year to produce net income of $235.2 million. …
Liberal group’s challenge to JobsOhio rejected by Ohio Supreme Court
Source: Jackie Borchardt, Northeast Ohio Media Group, June 10, 2014
Ohio’s highest court on Tuesday rejected a challenge from a progressive group and two Democrats challenging the constitutionality of JobsOhio, the state’s private, nonprofit economic development agency. In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court held that ProgressOhio.org, state Sen. Michael Skindell of Lakewood and former state Rep. Dennis Murray do not have standing — the legal right to pursue its claim in court — to bring an action against the legislation that created JobsOhio. The court also held that the plaintiffs lack a personal stake in the outcome of the case.
JobsOhio: Unethical, Unaccountable, Ineffective
Source: ProgressOhio, May 2014
From the press release:
JobsOhio, Gov. Kasich’s public/private economic development agency, has been plagued by ethical lapses at the highest levels and has not delivered the promised jobs, according to ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg. Rothenberg released a new study that examined the track record of the agency that Gov. Kasich launched in 2011. “The secrecy engulfing JobsOhio makes it impossible to do a comprehensive analysis of the agency’s performance. Still, government records, news reports, business filings and audits show it exaggerated its impact, funneled state money to companies that did not create or retain the promised jobs, and has a pattern of helping companies with ties to its politically potent governing board,” the study concluded. “The bottom line: After 3 ½ years of JobsOhio, Ohio’s economic rebound remains anemic and lags the nation as a whole in both employment gains and in reducing the ranks of the unemployed.” …
New report from JobsOhio critic says lack of transparency leaves Ohio wondering
Source: Robert Higgs, Northeast Ohio Media Group, May 29, 2014
A cloak of secrecy surrounding JobsOhio makes it impossible to determine how effective it really is at job creation and whether it offers Ohioans a good return on their dollar, a new report argues. The report, prepared by ProgressOhio, was presented as part of a discussion Thursday in Cleveland on the constitutionality of JobsOhio.
JobsOhio’s annual report touts successes, but also draws critics’ fire
Source: Robert Higgs, Northeast Ohio Media Group, March 5, 2014
…. JobsOhio, the brainchild of Gov. John Kasich, is a non-profit private corporation that acts as the economic development arm for the state of Ohio. Kasich touted its creation, often saying it would promote growth and development at the speed of business, rather than at the speed of government….. Ohio’s Democrats noted that the report also shows fewer new jobs than the 2012 report, less new payroll and less capital investments by companies.
JobsOhio Annual Report 2013/2014
Source: JobsOhio, 2014
Bill clarified that state auditor’s authority over JobsOhio’s books is limited
Source: Robert Higgs, Northeast Ohio Media Group, January 20, 2014
A key vote last year on the state auditor’s authority over JobsOhio will almost certainly play a role in this year’s election debate. Republicans from both chambers approved Senate Bill 67, which laid out clearly that JobsOhio does not have to open all its books to the state auditor and that the development company’s profits from liquor sales are not public dollars.
JobsOhio exempt from public records laws, state Supreme Court rules
Source: Jim Provance, Toledo Blade, December 3, 2013
Ohio’s private non-profit economic development entity is exempt from public records laws that apply to government agencies, the state Supreme Court ruled today. …
Growing chorus laments lack of JobsOhio oversight
Source: Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, November 10, 2013
When Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer lamented the courts’ seeming lack of jurisdiction over Gov. John Kasich’s privatized job-creation board last week, he joined a growing chorus of the frustrated. State lawmakers created JobsOhio in 2011 in a bill containing sweeping exemptions from public records and ethics laws. Defenders of the corporate-style setup point to a laundry list of reports, disclosures and business filings still required of the entity, but it is not only Kasich’s political opponents who have raised concern. … Carney replied that there are plenty of doors to the courthouse, just not for plaintiffs led by liberal think tank ProgressOhio who he argues can’t demonstrate any real harm. Among areas at issue in the case before justices is a 90-day window that the JobsOhio law allowed for suing that opponents say closed before the office could have had any impact on a potential plaintiff….
Board, beneficiaries of JobsOhio linked
Source: Associated Press, July 31, 2013
A newspaper review found that six of nine board members of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s privatized economic development office, JobsOhio, have ties to companies that received tax credits or other state or JobsOhio assistance since Kasich took office in 2011. The Dayton Daily News in a Wednesday report identified JobsOhio directors who were either employed by, on the board of or stockholders in the benefiting companies.
The Strange Case of JobsOhio and Public Auditing of Private Firms
Source: Dylan Scott, Governing, June 10, 2013
…. The legislation creating JobsOhio, which is led by a governor-appointed board and charged with attracting business to the state, allowed the entity to effectively take over the state’s liquor operations and use the $100 million in resulting profits as a major source of funding. The law does allow for an annual audit, but by a private auditor, to track the use of what was previously public money. But when Yost said it was under his authority to audit the liquor money and subpoenaed the company’s records this March, Kasich and the legislature rushed to stop him from doing so.
Kasich signs bill to close JobsOhio’s books
Source: Joe Vardon, Columbus Dispatch, June 5, 2013
Gov. John Kasich signed the bill that will keep the state auditor’s eyeballs largely off of JobsOhio’s books.Senate Bill 67 — which will prohibit state Auditor Dave Yost from inspecting the state’s wholesale liquor profits funding JobsOhio — was one of five bills the governor signed in private yesterday….The bill ensures that the $100 million a year JobsOhio will be getting from a lease of state wholesale liquor profits is considered private money and cannot be audited by Yost. The funds will undergo an audit by a private firm. But Kasich’s signature might not end the argument over whether the state’s liquor profits are private dollars…
JobsOhio turns over private financials after order
Source: Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, March 19, 2013
Gov. John Kasich’s new nonprofit job-creation agency complied under protest Tuesday with a state auditor’s order to turn over its private financial records, then returned $1 million in taxpayer startup money in a move that may be intended to shield it from future government scrutiny. JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer John Minor Jr. announced the refund in tandem with answering Auditor Dave Yost’s subpoena for access to the private side of the nonprofit’s books. JobsOhio, state legislative leaders and the Kasich administration argue the records aren’t public….
OH Senate Adjusts New Jobs Agency’s Records Policy
Source: Associated Press, May 01, 2012
JobsOhio foes argue they have right to sue
Source: David Eggert, Columbus Dispatch, February 17, 2012
JobsOhio passes final hurdle, but questions remain
Source: Jim Siegel, Columbus Dispatch, January 31, 2012
The Kasich administration’s decision to keep secret how it will determine whether Ohioans are getting a good deal from the $100 million a year that JobsOhio will spend on economic development did not stop the state Controlling Board from approving the contracts to formally get the privatized entity going yesterday. …. Sen. Tom Sawyer, D-Akron, questioned how taxpayers are supposed to know whether they are getting a good deal if JobsOhio will not disclose the criteria it is using to determine a positive return on investment. The Kasich administration is keeping the formula private, arguing that it is a trade secret.