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Ohio Third Frontier Bond Renewal, Issue 1 (May 2010)

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The Ohio Third Frontier Bond Renewal Amendment, also known as Issue 1, was on the May 4, 2010 ballot in Ohio as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.[1] This amendment authorizes the state to spend $700 million in bonds over five years on the Ohio Third Frontier program, which promotes growth in the technology industry.

Election results

Ohio Issue 1 (May 2010)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,033,753 61.68%
No642,28138.32%

Election results via the Ohio Secretary of State.[2]

Text of measure

See also: Ohio Constitution, Article VIII, Section 2p

The language appeared on the ballot as:[3]

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

TO EXTEND THE OHIO THIRD FRONTIER PROGRAM BY AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF ADDITIONAL GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH

Proposed By Joint Resolution of the General Assembly

To amend Section 2p of Article VIII Constitution of the State of Ohio.

This proposed amendment would:

  • Continue funding for research and development purposes by authorizing the state to issue $700 million of general obligation bonds to renew and continue programs for research and development in support of Ohio industry, commerce, and business.
  • Limit the amount of all state general obligations that may be issued for, and the amounts of proceeds from those state general obligations that may be committed to, those research and development purposes, to no more than $450 million total for the period including state fiscal years 2006 through 2011, no more than $225 million in fiscal year 2012 and no more than $175 million in any fiscal year thereafter, plus any amounts that in any prior fiscal year could have been but were not issued or committed.
  • Require state agencies awarding funding from those state general obligations to obtain independent reviews of and recommendations as to the merits of proposed research and development projects. The Governor, the President and Minority Leader of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives must be provided information regarding the independent reviewer prior to any award, and the state agency proposing the award must also notify those officials if the recommendations of an independent reviewer are not adopted by that state agency for the proposed project and the reasons for not adopting those recommendations.

If adopted, this amendment shall take effect immediately.

A“YES” vote means approval of the amendment.
A“NO” vote means disapproval of the amendment.

A majority YES vote is required for the amendment to be adopted. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

Background

The $1.6 billion "Third Frontier" program was started in 2002 under former Gov. Bob Taft and was designed to extend until 2012, however, according to officials, in light of low state revenue the program is scheduled to end early. According to the Ohio Department of Development, the program has created approximately 500 companies and 8,000 jobs since 2002.[4] The "Third Frontier" program awards industries and technologies with state funds in an effort to commercialize products and create jobs. Awards are granted by a nine-member Third Frontier Commission through a grant process. Additionally, there is a 16-member Third Frontier Advisory Board. The board is comprised of industry, academia and government leaders.[5][6]

The Plain Dealer has put together a list of Third Frontier grants to date, they can be found here.

Path to the ballot

See also: Ohio legislatively-referred state statute laws

Both the House and the Senate approved the proposed measure on February 3, 2010 following a compromise the night prior. The Senate passed the revised plan 30-2 and the House 83-14.[7] According to reports the resolution was filed with the Ohio Secretary of State on February 3rd; meeting the deadline for the May ballot.[8]

Support

Issue 1 was primarily supported by United for Jobs Ohio. A complete list of supporters can be found here.[9] Gov. Ted Strickland supported Issue 1. The governor said, "This is a significant investment in Ohio’s economy and cornerstone of Ohio’s economic growth strategy."[8] In addition to several cities and counties across the state, the board directors from the Piqua, Troy and Tripp Chambers of Commerce passed resolutions in support of Issue 1.[10][11]

The official argument in support, submitted by Rep. Sandra Williams, Jay Goyal, and Ron Amstutz, and Sen. Kirk Schuring, David Goodman, and Dale Miller can be found here.


Yes on Issue 1 ad, 4-20-10

Arguments

  • Ray Leach, chief executive of JumpStart Inc., who received funding from Third Frontier, said, "With national economists forecasting that a significant percentage of net new job growth in the U.S. must come from companies that are five years old or younger, providing entrepreneurs and young companies with the resources they need to grow is one of the best ways to create jobs for Ohioans."[8]
  • Bob Schmidt, chairman of Cleveland Medical Devices, which had received Third Frontier grants, said, "Having $175 million a year available for new business opportunities is a good thing to do in these tight economic times."[8]
  • Lake County Mayors and City Managers Association voted unanimously to endorse the proposed bond renewal. "I think the feeling about it being passed on the ballot is that there’s been good evidence that it’s created 40,000 jobs in the state,” said New association President and Eastlake mayor Ted Andrzejewski.[12]
  • Congressman Tim Ryan said, "The investments we get locally from the Third Frontier are in conjunction with the federal money we're bringing home...We're all partnering to make sure we're not wasting money. We're both getting involved in the same kind of programs, and I think that's why we've had some success especially with the techonology companies."[13]
  • Timken Co. chairman W.J. "Tim" Timken Jr. said the approval of the Third Frontier Bond Renewal was "critical to the economic future of Ohio" and argues that the state of Ohio "needs this program now more than ever."[14]
  • Gordon Gee, the Ohio State University president, was involved in the public relations in support of the renewal. In March 2010, he traveled the state to promote the program and promote research relationships between universities and industries.[15][16]
  • James W. Garrett, CEO of Vadxx Energy, supported Issue 1. In a letter to The Plain Dealer he wrote,"Today, the Third Frontier is helping companies like Vadxx and others regain that crown once again for the Buckeye State. That means good jobs, and we all know that's the only real answer to our challenges. Please continue the momentum we are building and vote for the Third Frontier on May 4."[17]
  • WebCore Technologies chairman Dan Hutcheson describes the Third Frontier program as, "It is one of the most, if not the most, important economic development initiatives in the state of Ohio." WebCore received financial aid from the Third Frontier Program.[20]

Campaign contributions

See also: Campaign finance requirements for Ohio ballot measures

According to the Ohio Campaign Disclosure database no filings were made for either "Yes on Issue 1" or "United for Jobs Ohio" as of May 4, 2010.

Tactics and strategies

According supporters, they expected to spend $3 million on tactics and strategies. Primarily, supporters planned to focus on job creation. The state had lost a reported half-million jobs in the last decade. Additionally, supporters planned to stress that the new bonds would not result in higher taxes. According to supporters, the 2005 $500 million bond would be paid back by 2014 without the use of tax increases.[21]

Rallies

A rally was scheduled for April 7, 2010 at the Taft Center at Fountain Square downtown. More than 100 people were expected to attend the event in support of Issue 1. Scheduled speakers included Mayor Mark Mallory, Bob Castellini, president and CEO, The Castellini Company, UC President Greg Williams and Cincinnati Children's Hospital president Michael Fisher.[22]

Video campaign

On April 14, 2010 United for Jobs Ohio kicked off the "Yes on Issue 1" campaign with a video campaign - "Your Story." As of April 20, the campaign posted a total three videos: Gary Conley, CEO of TechSolve sings the praises of the Third Frontier program; Wayne Poll, CEO of MID Surgical endorses Issue 1; and Tony Dennis provides staggering numbers.[23]

Opposition

There was no organized opposition to Issue 1. No submission was made to the Ohio Ballot Board in opposition. Opponents argued that the Third Frontier program was "corporate welfare" by investing in companies and technologies, a job they said should be left to the private sector. Others said they worried that more borrowing would severely affect the state budget in the next few years. The state was facing a budget shortfall for 2011 of up to $8 billion. Rep. David Daniels said, "We have got to consider when we are going to stop borrowing and spending. It has shown its share of successes over the years, but to me it goes back to budgetary concerns now."[5]

The official argument in opposition, prepared by the Ohio Ballot Board can be found here.

Arguments

  • Rep. Matt Huffman was one of 13 House members that voted against placing the proposed Third Frontier Bond renewal on the ballot. Huffman argued that the market, not government, should decide which technologies would be in demand. Huffman said, "When ethanol was the big thing, a private company got a bunch of subsidies to build a plant outside Lima; but now all we have is an empty plant. We could take $700 million and do a lot more by way of tax cuts to stimulate our economy than this will ever do."[24]
  • Sen. Bill Seitz was one of two senators opposed to the proposed measure, however, Seitz said he still supported the program. According to reports Seitz "wanted more highway and infrastructure funding included in the proposal - much as it was in 2005 when Third Frontier passed."[24]
  • Rep. Lynn Wachtman argued that the state was giving companies an unfair advantage. "At best, these programs are neutral, if not harmful, by taking money away from someone who may invest it or give it to a cause," said Wachtmann.[25]
  • David Johnson, CEO of Summitville Tiles Inc. and former chairman of the Ohio Manufacturers Association and Columbiana County Republican Party, was opposed to Issue 1. In an editorial that appeared on CantonRep.com he said, "There is a $500 million ticking time bomb of debt that may well balloon by an additional $700 million if the voters of Ohio are duped into approving state Issue 1 on the May 4 primary ballot."[26]

Campaign contributions

See also: Campaign finance requirements for Ohio ballot measures

According to the Ohio Campaign Disclosure database no filings were made for "No on Issue 1" as of May 4, 2010. There was no organized opposition to Issue 1.

Media editorial positions

Main article: Endorsements of Ohio ballot measures, 2010

Newspapers in favor

  • The Columbus Dispatch supported Issue 1. In an editorial the board said, "Voters' approval of Issue 1 will send a strong signal to potential investors in these projects that Ohio is a place that welcomes and nourishes innovation...Voters can do their part by continuing Ohio's investment in entrepreneurship in the businesses and industries that are filling the gaps created by the erosion of the state's old manufacturing base. A yes vote on Issue 1 in the May 4 primary is a vote for the workers in these new endeavors and a vote for Ohio's future."[27]
  • The Enquirer supported Issue 1. The editorial board said,"This isn't about the old model of luring firms from other states with incentives and merely shifting jobs around. It's about developing new technologies, industries and opportunities. As we noted in a January editorial about the Third Frontier, this is about making the economic pie bigger. While it has had some growing pains, the concept is sound, and the program's continuation is absolutely vital to Ohio's future. We urge voters to support Issue 1 on May 4."[28]
  • The Plain Dealer said voters should vote for Issue 1. In an editorial the newspaper's editorial board said,"Even in its short existence, the Third Frontier has helped nurture important biotech and energy clusters around Cleveland's university and medical research centers...A 'yes' vote for Issue 1 will allow the state to raise $700 million for investment beginning in 2012. It won't raise your taxes. It will help secure our state's future."[29][30]
  • The Vindicator supported Issue 1. "An objective evaluation of Third Frontier will lead to the conclusion that this is an initiative voters can - and should - easily support. The Vindicator urges a yes vote on State Issue 1 in the May 4 primary," they said.[31]
  • The Toledo Blade supported Issue 1. In an editorial the board said, "Issue 1 will not raise taxes. It builds on the success of Third Frontier by allowing the state to sell bonds, raising $700 million for investments beginning in 2012. A YES vote on Issue 1 is a vote for Ohio's future."[32]
  • The Morning Journal supported Issue 1. "When it comes to creating jobs and expanding high-tech industries, Ohio’s Third Frontier program has shown amazing success since it began in 2003...Success breeds success and Ohio’s Third Frontier program is well worth continuing. Vote “yes” for State Issue 1," said the editorial board.[33]

Newspapers opposed

No major Ohio newspapers were opposed to Issue 1.

See also

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Articles

External links

Additional reading

References

  1. Ohio Secretary of State, "2010 Official Election Results," accessed July 31, 2013
  2. Ohio Secretary of State, "A History of Statewide Issue Votes in Ohio," accessed July 30, 2013
  3. Ohio Issues Report, "State Issues Ballot Information for the May 4, 2010 Primary Election," accessed July 31, 2013
  4. Dayton Business Journal,"Ohio lawmakers seek Third Frontier ballot initiative," December 1, 2009
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Columbus Dispatch,"Third Frontier backers say jobs worth it," April 25, 2010
  6. Cleveland Scene,"Settling the 'Third Frontier'," April 28, 2010
  7. Business First of Columbus,"3rd Frontier extension headed for voter OK," February 3, 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 MedCity News,"$700 million renewal of Ohio Third Frontier heads for May ballot," February 3, 2010
  9. United for Jobs Ohio,"Issue 1 attracts overwhelming support across Ohio," accessed April 20, 2010
  10. Tipp News Daily,"Local Chambers Support Third Frontier (State Issue 1)," April 27, 2010
  11. The Eagle-Gazette,"Strickland touts Third Frontier," April 29, 2010
  12. The News-Herald,"Mayors group endorses Ohio jobs program," February 23, 2010
  13. WYTV,"Third Frontier Program," March 29, 2010
  14. CantonRep.com,"Backers say Issue 1 is ‘critical to state’," March 31, 2010
  15. Dayton Daily News,"OSU president at WPAFB to promote $700M extension on state program," March 31, 2010
  16. Newark Advocate,"Ohio Third Frontier: A proven investment," April 29, 2010
  17. The Plain Dealer,"Support Third Frontier: Companies benefit from funds and mentoring, Ohio benefits from job growth," April 5, 2010
  18. The Buchtelite,"UA supports Ohio's Third Frontier Initiative," April 6, 2010
  19. The Lantern,"University Senate supports Third Frontier Program," April 18, 2010
  20. Dayton Daily News,"Voters can save or kill jobs plan, Strickland says," April 7, 2010
  21. Cincinnati Enquirer,"Issue 1 campaign works to make case," April 26, 2010
  22. SoapBox Media,"Cincinnati rallies for Issue 1 high tech business, jobs program on May ballot," April 6, 2010
  23. United for Jobs Ohio,"Issue 1 Supporters Launch 'Your Story' Video Campaign," April 14, 2010
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Enquirer,"Third Frontier Goal: Funding the Future," March 29, 2010
  25. The Plain Dealer,"As May 4 election nears, debate over Ohio's Third Frontier program heats up," April 11, 2010
  26. CantonRep.com,"David W. Johnson: State Issue 1 creates ticking time bomb of debt for Ohio," April 20, 2010
  27. The Columbus Dispatch,"Dispatch endorsement: For State Issue 1," March 28, 2010
  28. The Enquirer,"Issue 1 bond issue is critical," March 28, 2010
  29. The Plain Dealer,"Ohio voters should vote for Issue 1 and reinvest in the state's very successful Third Frontier program: editorial," March 28, 2010
  30. The Plain Dealer,"Continue Ohio's Third Frontier initiative; it's earning its keep: editorial," April 25, 2010
  31. The Vindicator,"Issue 1 on the May ballot is no-brainer for Ohioans," April 1, 2010
  32. The Blade,"Yes on 1, No on 2," April 5, 2010
  33. The Morning Journal,"OUR VIEW EDITORIAL: Vote ‘yes’ May 4 on State Issues 1 and 2," April 6, 2010