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Dear Township Officials:

This week Governor Strickland gave his State of the State address and he highlighted the budgetary issues the state is facing and his proposed economy boosting package.

Governor Strickland is calling for a $1.7 billion Ohio Jobs Package that is intended to stimulate the short-term job market and, with a good foundation being laid, bring in more jobs to Ohio in the future.  This proposal would be paid for by the state by issuing bonds.

There are several pieces of the Governor's proposal that could directly impact township governments.  Of the $1.7 billion, the Governor has called for:

- $250 million in the advanced and renewable energy economy including solar, wind and clean coal.
- $150 million in our state's infrastructure to help create a seamless network of roads, rails, and ports to support our logistics and distribution industry.

- $200 million establishing the Ohio Main Street Renewal Initiative to spur redevelopment in downtown neighborhoods in cities and towns.

- $400 million in the Clean Ohio Fund to advance efforts to reclaim brownfields and other damaged lands and preserve farm land and open spaces.

- $400 million in the Ohio Public Works Commission to help local governments with road, bridge, water and sewer projects.

Additional money has been set aside for bioproducts and biomedical industry.

The Governor's office has asked the Legislature to pass language putting the bond package on the November ballot.  Should the legislature not pass legislation in advance of the November ballot filing deadline, the Governor's office will seek signatures from Ohioans to place the issue on the November ballot.

Over the coming months, the Governor's office will be having stake holder meetings on the above issues to flush out the details behind each proposal.  We have been told that the Governor's office will use current Clean Ohio programs and Ohio Public Works Commission programs to distribute the Clean Ohio and Public Works moneys.  To quote, "there is no need to reinvent the wheel when these programs are established and are proven successes."  As for the other programs listed above, implementing language will need to be passed by the General Assembly, should Ohioans pass the issue in November.

The OTA has been asked to support the Governor's proposal.  The OTA Board of Directors will address this issue at the next Board meeting.

We do not have any more information at this time but as details become available we will let you know.   As always, should you have any questions (I may not be able to answer them but I will try) please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Heidi M. Fought
Director of Governmental Affairs
Ohio Township Association
6500 Taylor Road, Suite A
Blacklick, OH  43004
(614) 863-0045
(614) 863-9751 - Fax