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Dem Lawmakers Call for Legislative Hearings on JobsOhio Controversy

Members push to refocus committee on matters pertaining to state government
August 2, 2013
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS- House Democratic members of the Committee on Policy and Oversight sent a letter to Chairman Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today, expressing concern that the panel is reviewing politically charged, federal issues while ignoring important matters pertaining to state government. 

 A copy of the letter is pasted below:

 Dear Chairman Dovilla,

We write to you today with growing concern over the direction of the Ohio House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee 

With the recent hearing in Cincinnati on issues involving the Internal Revenue Service and its handling of applications for 501(c)(4) designations, and the upcoming hearing in St. Clairsville over federal environmental policies, it appears that a pattern is developing to use the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee to focus on federal issues over which we as state legislators have no constitutional or statutory authority whatsoever.

It is deeply troubling and, frankly, irresponsible to use Ohio taxpayer dollars for the purpose of field hearings around the state on issues that pertain only to federal agencies, rather than state agencies over which we have a legal and moral obligation to monitor.

If this committee would stop ignoring its responsibility to provide legislative oversight on matters that pertain to state government, it would have no shortage of issues on which to focus. One such issue is the lack of oversight and accountability of the recently-created economic development agency known as JobsOhio.

Just this week, the Dayton Daily News revealed that "six of nine members of the JobsOhio board of directors have direct financial ties to companies that have received tax credits and other assistance from state government or JobsOhio since Gov. John Kasich took office in 2011." This is should be a matter of great concern to every member of this committee. 

Today, we are requesting that this committee immediately conduct a legislative inquiry into these possible conflicts of interest and begin hearings on House Bill 189, the JobsOhio Accountability Act.

Rather than continuing to focus the committee's time and attention on federal issues over which committee members have zero authority, we implore you to respect Ohio taxpayers and keep our attention on matters we are morally and legally obligated to review.

Respectfully,

Ronald V. Gerberry        

Mike Curtin                       

Kathleen Clyde                

Jack Cera                            

Teresa Fedor