A bill that would largely prevent state audits of JobsOhio is now headed to Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s desk.
The Ohio Senate on Thursday morning voted 22-10 to approve a Wednesday amendment made by the Ohio House of Representatives to prevent Ohio Auditor Dave Yost from auditing JobsOhio, a private non-profit that promotes economic development in Ohio.
Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Delaware County, joined senate Democrats in voting against the bill.
The vote came despite a second request from Yost to delay to give him more time to review the bill’s implications. Yost, a Republican, butted heads with Kasich, Republican earlier this year over whether he has authority to the profits from state liquor sales that funds JobsOhio, as well as private donations to the non-profit.
“I have many more questions than answers at this time, but I know this – speed is seldom the companion of wisdom,” Yost wrote in a letter to senators Thursday morning.
Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney, D-Cincinnati, said house Republicans, who first introduced the JobsOhio language as an amendment Wednesday morning to an otherwise uncontroversial bill, were trying to rush the measure through. The Ohio Senate last week unanimously approved the bill, which aims to lower the cost of state audits for local governments, minus the JobsOhio amendment.
“I can’t imagine why anyone would vote for this concurrence,” Kearney said.
Sen. Bill Seitz R-Cincinnati, said the bill had indeed been rushed, but that he supported its contents, saying it would clarify the difference between public money subject to state audits, and private money that’s not.
Seitz said he had been involved in recent negotiations between Yost’s and Kasich’s staffs over the issue, and the audit bill was “faithful” to what had been discussed.
“It is probably time to put behind us this tendentious and challenging issue,” Seitz said.