Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bill To Privatize Job Creation

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Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a private board to create jobs and entice businesses to locate in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Development, the state agency now in charge of job development in the buckeye state, would still exist but the private board, which would be operated by private business leaders, would be able to move at what Governor Kasich calls “the speed of business.”

By reducing regulation and meeting the needs of businesses faster, Kasich and the republicans who control all of state government at this point, hope to invigorate Ohio’s economy. In the mid 90’s, then Florida Governor Lawton Chiles created Enterprise Florida. Though not identical, that quasi private economic development board was to do many of the same things JobsOhio would be charged with doing. Now, newly elected Florida Governor, Republican Rick Scott, has decided to fire the head of that board.

Scott will create a new Florida Commerce Department and will put Enterprise Florida under it. James Call is the Legislative News Producer for Florida Public Radio. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Call explains what that state’s board was supposed to do and why it is now being changed somewhat.

Call says this change should lead to more public accountability. Call says Floridians hungry for jobs right now. The unemployment rate in the Sunshine State hovers around 12 percent….at least two points higher than Ohio’s. Call says Florida is hoping the changes will attract at least one fortune 500 company to someday locate in that state.

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