Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kasich signs first bill into law, launches JobsOhio

On Friday, Governor Kasich signed HB1 into law, his first legislative victory. This will begin the first phase of transforming our current, horribly ineffective Department of Development into a private entity. Unlike the slow government bureaucracy it has been for years, it will now move "at the speed of business".

The Senate added some tweaks to address Democrat concerns, but of course, the left still isn't satisfied. Regarding the idea of total transparency that they say we need, I wrote previously,
And while "transparency" usually SOUNDS like a good thing, TOTAL transparency in this case would be counter-productive. Critics are saying that every dollar spent, and every meeting that occurs, should be easily accessible for all to see. But look at it from the other side. You are a business owner looking to move your business, or open a new plant. The team from Ohio is courting you, and you are seriously considering Ohio as an option. Then that becomes common knowledge before ANY deal is struck. Are you going to appreciate that any negotiations you make with Ohio are made public before you make your decision? Of course not. Why would ANY business want to show their hand to their competition, to the market, to their labor force, before making a decision? They wouldn't, which is why the noise the left is making is not valid criticism, just the same old politics.
Well, that sentiment was echoed yesterday by new development director Mark Kvamme in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch.
Q: Ohio's public-records and public-meetings laws contain a number of exemptions. Wouldn't it have been less of a headache to just put JobsOhio into the current law and try to tweak it a little rather than try to create a whole new law?

A: It wouldn't have worked. People don't trust us to hold their information secure. It's not just their proprietary information. The code is very specific what you can maintain as private and confidential.

For someone who is going to leave (the state) - if you're thinking about getting a divorce, are you going to tell your spouse you're seeing a lawyer? No. The problem here is, if you're thinking about leaving the state, but you're not sure, the last thing you want is for all your employees to know about it.

The way our laws work, the minute a company calls or e-mails us, that is public record. So, many times, we don't get called. The last thing we need is another NCR that leaves in the middle of the night, practically.

I've seen multiple stories about a company looking to move here from Wisconsin, and they filled out the paperwork, so it's all public. Who is the first call he gets? It's from the governor of Wisconsin.

Our competitors know what's going on. It's not you guys (the media) I'm worried about. It's the competition. Everything we do will be 100percent accountable and 100percent out there in the annual report.

Besides, if JobsOhio is so bad, why did 8 of the 10 Ohio Senate Democrats vote for it? Two House Democrats, black Cleveland-area Reps. John Barnes and Bill Patmon, also voted for the bill. According to Barnes, job creation is, or should be, nonpartisan.

As I stated before, those folks who are still crying foul over JobsOhio are the same folks who, believe it or not, agree that Ted Strickland left Ohio "with a better foundation than when he took office." Their opposition is all about stopping Kasich's agenda at every turn with the goal of keeping him from being successful. They'd rather put politics ahead of finding new ways to fix Ohio. Kudos to those who approved JobsOhio because they put Ohio ahead of their partisan politics.

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