I know Modern has covered some of this before, but I thought State Rep. Dennis Murray deserved a shout out for his great opinion piece published in the Morning Journal yesterday SLAMMING Kasich’s JobsOhio plan.

According to Murray the bill “makes a mockery of public records laws through its Alice-In-Wonderland assertions that a government function is not really a government function and that a government agency exercising the powers of government is not really a government agency.”

He goes on to explain why the bill is unconstitutional:

In the early part of the 19th Century, Ohio became an investor and lender to ambitious public works projects designed to bring about economic development in our state. The best known of these projects were the great — and not so great — canal projects in which the state, and eventually local governments, became investors alongside private industry. These public-private partnerships with their commingling of public and private funds were touted as the tonic for Ohio. That is, until many of these investments later went sour.

The concern in that day was about the proper, limited role of government. So in 1850, without any expressed opposition, a state constitutional convention recommended and the public passed an amendment (Article 8, Section 4) which reads, “The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual association or corporation whatever; nor shall the state ever hereafter become a joint owner, or stockholder, in any company or association in this state, or elsewhere, formed for any purpose whatever.”

That provision has been part of our state constitution ever since.

Gov. Kasich’s JobsOhio bill proposes to create a corporation in which the governor of the state will be its sole member, thereby being the sole owner of the corporation. Committee testimony established that this new public corporation will in turn take equity positions in private companies. Clearly, the formation of this entity and any subsequent ownership of stock in private corporations is prohibited by the constitution.

 

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