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Certified Explanation of State Issue 1

(As prepared by the Ohio Ballot Board)

The purpose of this amendment is to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in Ohio.

This amendment declares that state and local governmental financial assistance for "science and technology based research and development purposes" to create jobs and stimulate economic growth is a public purpose.

This amendment authorizes state and local governments to issue bonds and provide other financial assistance to support "science and technology based research and development purposes," including biomedical and other research, new product development and commercialization, capital formation, operating costs, and support for public and private institutions of higher education, research organizations, institutions or facilities, and private sector business and industry, as may be provided for by state or local law, but excluding purposes already provided for in Section 15 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution.

It authorizes the state to participate in, or to assist in the financing of, projects undertaken by local governmental or private sector entities, including not-for-profit organizations. The participation may take the form of grants, loans, subsidies, contributions, advances, guarantees, or direct investment, or by providing staffing or other support, such as computer or other technology capacity, or equipment and facilities, including interests in real property.

This amendment authorizes the state and state-supported and state-assisted institutions of higher education and local public agencies to issue bonds or other obligations to pay their costs of participating in and implementing "science and technology based research and development purposes." The amendment specifies that these activities would not be subject to the prohibitions against lending aid and credit in Sections 4 and 6 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution.

This amendment limits to no more than five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000) the total principal amount of state obligations issued under this amendment, and limits the amount that can be borrowed in any one fiscal year to no more than fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) plus the principal amount of those obligations that in any prior fiscal year could have been but were not issued, except that not more than one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) of principal amount of those obligations may be issued in the first fiscal year of issuance. These would be issued as general obligations, backed by the full faith and credit of the State, and would not be subject to the "cap" on state debt service under Section 17 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution.

This amendment requires that these obligations mature no later than December 31 of the twentieth (20th) calendar year after issuance, except that obligations issued to refund or retire other obligations must mature no later than December 31 of the twentieth (20th) calendar year after the year in which the original obligation to pay was issued or entered into.

This amendment authorizes the General Assembly to pass laws providing for its implementation.

 

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