COLUMBUS- Representative John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) introduced House Bill No. 100 this week to clarify an ongoing issue regarding the Auditor of State’s ability to audit JobsOhio. Recent public statements from Speaker Bill Batchelder and Gov. John Kasich have sought to discredit the State Auditor’s role and responsibility in auditing the public-private economic development entity.
“The State Auditor clearly has the ability to pursue answers from JobsOhio,” said Rep. Carney. “I think it is a little insincere for the Governor and Speaker to imply that the legislature intended to expressly take away the Auditor’s powers when it comes to JobsOhio. Those kinds of statements from elected officials only further the suspicions that something is awry at JobsOhio.”
HB 100 clarifies that the Auditor has the ability to conduct a full audit of JobsOhio’s books, and requires JobsOhio, the JobsOhio Beverage System, and other private non-profits who receive state funding to annually disclose both public and private funding sources.
JobsOhio has recently come under scrutiny for receiving more public funds than anticipated without legislative oversight. This morning, it was reported that the Development Services Agency (DSA) and Governor Kasich have requested an audit of the public funds funneled to JobsOhio through the JobsOhio Beverage System.
“Unfortunately, I think it is too little, too late,” Rep. Carney added. “At this point, the public deserves a full accounting of JobsOhio’s operation. There are still many questions to be answered concerning the JobsOhio Beverage System and the contracts that were executed. This is a good government issue. We need to ensure that an entity that the state has trusted to perform a function of state government is doing so in an appropriate manner. This legislation ensures transparency and accountability of the public’s investment.”