Ohio Issue 1, Economic Growth Act (2005)

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The Ohio Economic Growth Amendment, also known as Issue 1, was on the November 8, 2005 ballot in Ohio as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.[1] This amendment authorized $1.35 billion in bonds for economic development.

Election results

Ohio Issue 1 (2005)
Approveda Yes 1,512,669 54.12%

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]

(Proposed by Resolution of the General Assembly of Ohio)

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

This proposed amendment would:

  1. Be for the purpose of creating and preserving jobs and stimulating economic growth in all areas of Ohio by improving local government public infrastructure, including roads and bridges, expanding Ohio’s research and development capabilities to promote product innovation and commercialization, and preparing sites and facilities for economic development in Ohio.
  2. Declare that local government public infrastructure, and financial assistance for research and development and development of sites and facilities in Ohio for and in support of industry, commerce and distribution (all referred to together as “development purposes”) are public purposes.
  3. Authorize the state to issue bonds to finance, or assist in financing, public infrastructure capital improvements for local governments. Authorize the state to issue bonds to provide financial assistance for research and development in support of Ohio industry, commerce, and business, and authorize state and local governments and state supported and state-assisted institutions of higher education to issue bonds and provide other financial assistance to support research and development purposes as provided for by law. Authorize the state to issue bonds to pay costs, or assist others in the payment of costs, of projects for the purpose of developing sites and facilities in Ohio.
  4. Limit the total principal amount of general obligation bonds issued under this amendment for financing development purposes as follows: no more than $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; no more than $500 million for research and development purposes with no more than $100 million in each of the first three fiscal years and no more than $50 million in any other fiscal year; and no more than $150 million for developing sites and facilities with no more than $30 million in each of the first three fiscal years and no more than $15 million in any other fiscal year; provided that any principal amount that in any prior fiscal year could have been but was not issued may also subsequently be issued.
  5. Require bonds for infrastructure capital improvements and developing sites and facilities mature no later than thirty (30) years after their date of issuance and for research and development purposes 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 provide that bonds for research and development purposes and developing sites and facilities will not be subject to the limits on state debt service under Section 17 of Article VIII or the prohibitions against lending aid and credit in Sections 4 and 6 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution.
  6. Authorize the General Assembly to pass laws providing for its implementation, including laws providing procedures for issuing obligations, ensuring the accountability of all state funding provided for development purposes, restricting or limiting the taking by eminent domain of private property for disposition to private sector entities for research and development and the development of sites and facilities, and for the implementation of the research and development purposes to benefit people and businesses otherwise qualified for the receipt of funding in all areas of Ohio, including economically disadvantaged business and individuals in all areas of the state, including by the use Ohio products, materials, services and labor to the extent practicable.
If passed, this amendment will be effective immediately.
A majority yes vote is necessary for passage.



Arguments in favor

The following reasons were given in support of Issue 1 by the Committee to Provide Argument For Issue 1:[3]

A YES vote on Issue 1, the Jobs for Ohio bond issue, will help create and keep more good jobs without raising taxes.

YES ON ISSUE 1 HELPS OHIO KEEP AND CREATE JOBS: Issue 1 allows for investment in research and development to create well-paying jobs and industry in all regions of Ohio.

  • Issue 1 benefits all Ohioans through research for alternative fuels reducing our foreign oil dependence, through medical research that cures diseases such as heart ailments and cancer, and through greater biotech research that helps our state’s agriculture.
  • Issue 1 encourages partnerships between our state’s research universities and the private sector to create new products and jobs to replace those lost offshore.
  • Issue 1 will also provide grants to local governments to build public improvements for immediate expansion of new business facilities.

YES ON ISSUE 1 RENEWS OHIO’S LOCAL GOVERNMENT ROAD AND BRIDGE BUILDING PROGRAM: Two-thirds of the Issue 1 funds will be used by local governments for building and renovating infrastructure like roads, bridges, and water and sewer lines. Issue 1 renews a local government program first approved by Ohio voters in 1987 and again in 1995. It has created many thousands of jobs and improved critical infrastructure throughout Ohio’s 88 counties.

YES ON ISSUE 1 WON’T INCREASE TAXES: Bonds authorized by Issue 1 will not require a tax increase now or in the future. Repayment of these bonds is already built into Ohio’s long-range budget plans. This package will generate new revenues for state and local governments by expanding our job base.


We urge a YES vote on Issue 1.[4]


Campaign contributions

The following people and organizations were the top donors to Jobs for Ohio 2005. In total, $2,959,229 was raised to support the campaign.[6]

Donor Amount
KEY BANK $100,000


Arguments against

The following reasons were given in opposition of Issue 1 by the Committee to Provide Argument Against Issue 1:[3]

Issue 1 is not about jobs; it’s about long-term debt. PASSAGE OF THIS AMENDMENT WILL ELIMINATE FOUR TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS IN THE OHIO CONSTITUTION, including prohibitions against government:
  • Spending tax revenue for uses other than the originally levied purpose;
  • Incurring or renewing bond indebtedness in the absence of a legislative plan to collect enough tax revenue to pay the annual interest and to provide a fund for the redemption of bonds;
  • Engaging in joint ventures with, or lending aid and credit, to private entities; and
  • Entering into debt for an internal improvement.

Issue 1 combines three issues with the expressed purpose of securing statewide support for Governor Taft’s failed Third Frontier Initiative for research and development. Voters will not have the opportunity to vote separately on the following debt proposals:

1. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT/THIRD FRONTIER: On the recommendation of out-of-state reviewers, a three-member governor-appointed committee will create unfair competitive advantage by doling out $500 million in corporate subsidies.

2. PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE: The issuance of $1.35 billion in bonds is premature since $240 million from the previous infrastructure initiative hasn’t been exhausted and new bonds are not expected to be issued until December 2009. Voting NO will not jeopardize local projects for roads, bridges, or water treatment facilities.

3. SITE/FACILITY DEVELOPMENT: Taxpayers will pay $150 million for the development of private industrial and business sites. In light of the recent Supreme Court eminent domain ruling, it is important to know that Issue 1 does NOT override the home rule authority that permits municipalities to take private property for economic development.

Issue 1 is a bold attempt to bypass the constitutional cap on debt service. Today’s newborn will be paying off these bonds, plus interest and debt service, thirty years from now.

Please vote NO on Issue 1.[4]

The ballot book arguments opposing Issue 1 were signed by Tom Brinkman, Jr. and Diana M. Fessler.


Campaign contributions

The following people and organizations were the top donors to SPOT PAC. In total, $250 was raised to support the campaign.[6]

Donor Amount

Path to the ballot

The bond proposal was designed by Governor Bob Taft. In 2003 he had a similar bond proposal for economic development put to voters, but that time it was defeated.[5]

See also

Suggest a link

External links