In his latest State of the State address Governor Strickland proposed a bunch of stuff to help create jobs in Ohio including asking “the legislature to erase Ohio’s tangible personal property tax on generation for wind and solar facilities.”

Green energy has been a big part of the Governor’s agenda since taking office and it’s no surprise that he’s still pushing this as part of his latest agenda.

It is, however, a big surprise that some Republican State Senators actually listened to and agree with the Governor.

Sen. Chris Widener introduced a bill (S.B. 232) less than a month after the Governor’s speech and this bill does exactly what the Governor requested. It “provides an exemption from real and tangible personal property taxes and assessments for an exempt energy air quality facility.”

A bill to help bring jobs to Ohio by giving tax breaks for green businesses? Introduced and sponsored by Republicans?

Seems like the perfect bill for a divided State Senate to rally behind.

So why has it been sitting dormant since late February?

This bill was co-sponsored by Ohio’s rising Republican star Shannon Jones. And its content is pretty much word-for-word what the Democratic Governor said during his state of the state speech.

It doesn’t get much more bipartisan than that.

Isn’t this the perfect piece of legislation for Ohio’s Senators to pursue to prove that Ohio’s legislature can and will work together with their counterparts across the aisle to solve Ohio’s energy and employement problems?

While Kasich’s unofficial carpetblogger whines about Strickland’s green energy strategy, some insightful Ohio senators have recognized the potential of this strategy and have introduced legislation to help promote it.

I guess the big question is: are the rest of Ohio’s Republicans seriously interested in helping to solve our state’s employment problems by supporting green energy? or are they willing to throw our small businesses and our working class citizens under the bus just so they can make the Governor look bad?

  • mvirenicus

    i don't think ohio has a “working class” anymore. we have a couple handfuls of wealthy shits, a relatively thin layer of “professionals” and about nine million people who are now destitute or damned close to it. i am projecting from my observations in ne ohio.

  • It was late, I was worn out from spending the day traveling and, not surprisingly, I'd had a few bourbons before I even started writing. I'm just happy I finished the damn post without any major spelling mistakes.

    Regarding Ohio's 'working class', I guess one immediately thinks of manufacturing jobs when you think of working class folks in Ohio. Not just manufacturing, but old-school manufacturing like steel and cars.

    I'm not amazingly optimistic that Ohio will ever see a great deal of those old-school manufacturing jobs return – at least not in the numbers we saw in past decades. But I also don't think that's necessarily a problem either.

    We need to attract new industries to the state and there is most certainly a place for state government in that process. Actually, I think it's really more of a responsibility. And tax breaks are definitely one of the tools they can use.

    Despite what Kasich might think, you don't just randomly cut taxes across the board and then wait for the big rush of companies to move to Ohio. Especially not in the middle of the biggest recession in decades.

    It takes good planning and a sound strategy that includes focused tax breaks like this one to help attract new employers and to promote expansion by existing employers.

    Strickland gets it.

    Kasich, not so much.

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