The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023

Pro-jobs, pro-business budget

It is no secret that Ohio has an employment problem.  Our borders have long been hemorrhaging jobs as our state population shrinks and industry flees, taking employment opportunities to more business-friendly states. Unfortunately, this situation was irresponsibly ignored by the House Democrats in the previous General Assembly. However, in the new legislative session, we have had the chance to reverse this devastating trend that has sadly become the status quo in Ohio.

By State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann

With this in mind, the Ohio House has been diligently working to include in the state budget proposal numerous measures aimed at bringing jobs back to Ohio and stimulating our sluggish economy. We need to make our state more attractive to prospective businesses so that they will have the incentive to relocate within our borders, bringing employment opportunities with them. As my colleagues and I work to resolve an $8 billion dollar budget gap left over from the Strickland administration, we are keeping our eyes peeled for new and innovative provisions we can add to revitalize our economy and strengthen our job market.

Job creation is a daunting undertaking, only feasible by taking a multilevel approach to the project. In the current state budget proposal, we have included a number of initiatives that confront multiple triggers causing Ohio’s job loss, population shrinkage and economic nosedive. For one, the budget will strengthen JobsOhio, the state’s new private non-profit entity aimed at addressing the concerns of businesses and getting Ohioans back to work. With a revenue stream for JobsOhio, it will be able to better meet its goals and boost our economy.

Another approach to job creation included in the budget proposal focuses on expanding our state’s employment base. Education is one of the most crucial factors in sustaining a healthy job market. On the individual level, achieving a degree in higher education opens many doors to Ohio’s youth, and on a larger scale, enticing high school graduates to stay in-state for college increases Ohio’s pool of educated workers. This is why the proposed budget contains a provision that will give in-state tuition rates at Ohio colleges and universities to students who come back within a set time frame of graduating from our high schools. By doing this, businesses will have more prospective employees to choose from, Ohio’s intuitions of higher education will prosper, and our young adults will be able to obtain more affordable college degrees.

Changing Ohio tax law can also improve our state’s population retention and job outlook. To this end, the current budget proposal will repeal the estate tax, which constitutes double taxation and hurts middle class homeowners, family businesses and farmers. Moreover, this immoral tax dissuades people and businesses from moving to Ohio and encourages current residents to leave permanently. House Republicans have taken it upon themselves to remove this impediment to economic development and individual prosperity starting in 2013. Families—not a greedy government—should collect their deceased relative’s hard-earned assets, and we intend to reverse this institutionalized injustice.

For too long, Ohio’s government was led by politicians who ignored the economic reality right under their noses. Since January, when the new Republican-led House first convened, we have made great strides to correct the ineptitude of the last administration, and this budget proposal will only further repair our state economy and job market. I am confident that these initiatives will contribute to Ohio’s economic sustainability and a higher employment rate for all of our citizens.

POSTED: 06/18/11 at 2:01 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions