Fall sessions hold promise for Ohio
This General Assembly, the people of Ohio have experienced a roller coaster of triumphs and struggles. We saw the extension of the job-creating Third Frontier initiative, while at the same time, a nearly billion-dollar tax increase was levied when families were least able to afford it. While there has been significant job loss and economic decline both here at home and across the state, there is still hope—as long as the legislature puts politics aside and works to breathe new life into our region.
For the past 20 months, I have kept my promise to the families back home who entrusted me to be their voice in the People’s House. Specifically, I sought to create jobs for our community by introducing legislation that would fortify Ohio’s economy and get Cuyahoga County back to work. The 10 “Future of Ohio” jobs bills would help get our state back on the right track by offering businesses incentives to hire new employees, creating a more conducive business climate, and striving to keep young, educated college graduates within our borders.
Although none of these jobs bills have received a vote in the House, I continue to urge the consideration and adoption of these and other measures. In addition to these job-focused proposals, I also have encouraged the passage of several government reform initiatives that would fix Ohio’s struggling business climate. With summer recess coming to a close, I will work with my legislative colleagues this November and December to continue our efforts to fix the business climate by trimming waste.
Ohio’s expensive government is currently bogging down our economy, and for this reason, I strongly support House Bill 25 to streamline state agencies and ensure that we are not paying more for government operations than we should. This legislation would reduce the number of cabinet level departments from 24 to 11. These departments would be more focused than the current departments are now, which will make state government easier to navigate and less costly.
Another way we can reduce government spending and encourage job creation is to ensure that state agencies are spending your tax dollars as efficiently as possible. House Bill 65 requires that certain state agencies regularly undergo performance audits and submit performance budgets to the auditor of the state. With suggestions from the auditor of the state, agencies can reduce wasteful spending and streamline their operations.
House Bills 25 and 65 would generate the necessary changes to make it easier to do business and create jobs in Ohio. Any job creation efforts will not be successful until we also work to reduce the cost of state government and trim waste. I look forward to the fall sessions so the Ohio House can finally put politics aside and get Ohio back to work.
Nan Baker is the State Representative for Ohio's 16th District and lives in Westlake. She may be reached at 614-466-0961 or by writing to: Representative Nan Baker, 77 S. High Street, 10th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. You may also email her at District16@ohr.state.oh.us.