Last fall, we were originally told that Kasich’s JobsOhio program would be self-funding with a good portion of the money coming from private investors.
When the budget was introduced, we were then told they’d actually be using funding from the State’s Third Frontier program and profits from liquor sales.
The liquor profit scheme they came up with is complex and tricky and involves giving JobsOhio control of Ohio’s liquor profits against which it will sell bonds to raise money to pay the state for a lease on the profits. And the leftover capital for operating costs.
We predicted it would be pricey to get this scheme off the ground. And it looks like we were right.
Last week the state’s controlling board received two requests for funding related to JobsOhio.
The AG’s office is entering into a contract with McDonald Hopkins “to provide legal services to the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Office of Budget and Management regarding the negotiation and transfer of the Enterprise Acquisition project for JobsOhio.” The cost? $891,000!
And Commerce is requesting $593,941 to pay for “legal fees not budgeted” related to JobsOhio and the liquor profit transfer.
That’s nearly $1.5 Million! That’s taxpayer money that is now being diverted to pay for high-priced lawyers to help finance Kasich and Kvamme’s questionable scheme to give up $250 million a year in liquor profits for 30 years in order to get a one-time infusion of $500 to the GRF and hand over what’s left to JobsOhio.
And this is likely just the beginning.