State Issue 1: Explanation

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

This amendment creates and preserves jobs, enhances educational opportunities, and improves the quality of life and general well-being of people and businesses in all areas of Ohio by improving local government public infrastructure, expanding Ohio’s research capabilities to promote product innovation, development and commercialization, and preparing economic development sites and facilities in Ohio. It declares that local government public infrastructure, and financial assistance for research and preparation of economic development sites and facilities in Ohio for and in support of industry, commerce and distribution (all referred to together as “development purposes”) are public purposes.

Local Government Capital Improvements: This amendment authorizes the State of Ohio to issue bonds to pay for or help local governments pay for the cost of public infrastructure capital improvements of local governments, including roads and bridges, wastewater treatment systems, water supply systems, solid waste disposal facilities, storm water and sanitary collection, storage and treatment facilities, including real property or interests in real property, facilities and equipment related or incidental thereto, and the cost of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, expansion, improvement, planning and equipping. It limits bond issuance to $1.35 billion for local government public infrastructure with no more than $120 million in each of the first five fiscal years and no more than $150 million in each of the next five fiscal years (plus in each case the principal amount of those obligations that in any prior fiscal year could have been but were not issued), and provides that no general obligations for public infrastructure capital improvements may be issued under this amendment until the existing authority to issue state infrastructure bonds under Section 2m of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution has been used. The amendment requires these general obligations to mature no later than thirty (30) years after their date of issuance and that any refunding obligations mature no later than the permitted maturity date for the obligations being refunded.

Research and Development: This amendment authorizes the state to issue bonds to provide financial assistance for research and development in support of Ohio industry, commerce, and business, including research and product innovation, development, and commercialization as provided for by law, but excluding purposes provided for in Section 15 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution. The amendment also authorizes state-supported and state-assisted institutions of higher education to issue obligations to pay costs of research and development purposes. It limits the amount of the state general obligations that can be issued in each of the first three fiscal years to no more than $100 million and in any other fiscal year to no more than $50 million (plus the principal amount of those obligations that in any prior fiscal year could have been but were not issued). It requires these state general obligations to mature no later than twenty (20) years after their date of issuance and that any refunding obligations mature no later than the permitted maturity date for the obligations being refunded, and provides these state general obligations will not be subject to the limits on state debt service under Section 17 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution.

Job-Ready Sites: This amendment authorizes the state to issue general obligation bonds to pay costs, or assist others in the payment of costs of projects for the purpose of developing sites and facilities (Job-Ready Sites) in Ohio for and in support of industry, commerce, distribution, and research and development, including constructing and improving facilities, site preparation and cleanup, the acquisition of real estate, and providing public infrastructure improvements. The amendment limits the amount of these state general obligations that can be issued in each of the first three fiscal years to no more than $30 million and in any other fiscal year no more than $15 million (plus the principal amount of those obligations that in any prior fiscal year could have been but were not issued). It requires these state general obligations to mature no later than thirty (30) years after their date of issuance and that any refunding obligations mature no later than the permitted maturity date for the outstanding obligations being refunded. It also provides these state general obligations would not be subject to the limits on state debt service under Section 17 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution.

This amendment authorizes the General Assembly to pass laws providing for its implementation, including laws ensuring the accountability of all state funding provided for the development purposes, and restricting or limiting the taking of private property for private sector entities. The implementation of research and development purposes is to benefit individuals and businesses otherwise qualified for the receipt of funding, including economically disadvantaged businesses and individuals in all areas of the state, including by the use of Ohio products, materials, services, and labor to the extent practicable.

If passed, this Amendment will be effective immediately.

CERTIFICATION

I, Gretchen A. Quinn, Esq., acting in my capacity as the duly-designated secretary of the Ohio Ballot Board, do hereby certify to the Secretary of the State of Ohio that the foregoing text is the explanation prepared by the Ohio Ballot Board, acting pursuant to Article XVI, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution and Section 3505.062 of the Revised Code of Ohio, for this constitutional amendment proposed by the 126th General, and which the Secretary of State has ordered to be designated as Issue 1 on the “Official Questions and Issues Ballot” for the election to be held on November 8, 2005.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name at Columbus, Ohio, this 19th day of August 2005.

Gretchen A. Quinn, Esq.
Secretary
Ohio Ballot Board