Press release: HB 561 to make Ohio’s capital projects more transparent

Editor’s note:  State Rep. Ross McGregor, who introduced HB 561, represents the 72nd Ohio House district, a rectangular-shaped district consisting of the southwest corner of Clark County, with Springfield at the eastern end of the district and some of Dayton’s suburbs and exurbs at the western end of the district.

Capital projects have their own fund separate from the general fund.  In my opinion, the capital fund isn’t subjected to the same scrutiny that the general fund is, and is therefore more likely to be used for political purposes.  HB 561 addresses that.  You’ve heard of Congressional pork at the federal level.  If you want to sniff out pork at the state level in Ohio, you might want to peek into the capital fund. You might as well peek into the funds supported by voter-approved bond issues, too.

As for transparency, I wouldn’t mind if  the Ohio Lottery Commission ledger were more transparent.  I have a hunch that state bonds and the lottery might serve political patronage purposes.  Just my opinion.

McGregor: Cut Wasteful Spending, Keep Ohioans Informed

State Representative Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) today introduced House Bill 561,  legislation to require the Office of Budget and Management to maintain a database showing capital project appropriations and re-appropriations, to make the database available online and to submit a biennial report to the General Assembly.

“This legislation will reduce unnecessary spending and increase our government’s accountability to the public,” said Rep. McGregor. “Ohio is in the midst of the 15th straight month of double-digit unemployment; we cannot afford to needlessly spend taxpayer dollars.”

Rep. McGregor drafted the legislation after a project budgeted more than five years ago in his district sought re-appropriation. When enacted, the proposed legislation would allow the public and the legislature to better monitor projects that have been appropriated state funds. With a biennial report, legislators will be equipped with information to choose whether or not to continue funding a specific project.

Guest blog from Rep. Boose: Ohio Military Family Month

Editor’s note: State Rep. Terry Boose, (R-Norwalk) represents the 58th Ohio House district, comprised of the mostly rural south and west swaths of Lorain County, all of Huron County, and the eastern third of Seneca County. This editorial was released to media outlets on 7/28/2010.

OHIO MILITARY FAMILY MONTH

There are only a handful of days throughout the year that we honor the sacrifices of our servicemen and women, with barely any time devoted to their families. As these brave heroes give their lives to maintain our freedom, we should take more time to also honor the commitment that their families make back home. Ohio has the sixth largest veteran population in the entire nation, and for this reason, the legislature designated August as Ohio Military Family Month to thank the husbands, wives and children in our state with family members who are serving overseas.

Ohio Military Family Month calls us to not only remember the sacrifices members of our Armed Forces make, but to also remember the sacrifices their families make as well. When our servicemen and women are sent overseas to protect our liberties, their spouses, parents, children, and close friends back home must navigate their daily lives without the ones they love most. Imagine the extra burdens on these families and their constant worry for the safety of their loved ones.

This upcoming August, take time to remember the sacrifices of our Armed Forces and their families. Consider reaching out to neighbors who have a family member serving overseas. This is a struggle we are all in together; we cannot forget our bond as a community.

While Ohio Military Family Month is one way to honor these noble sacrifices, Ohio and our nation still need a way to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Many of my colleagues and I support the adoption of the Honor and Remember Flag to pay homage to men and women who have lost their lives in service of the U.S. The Honor and Remember Flag honors fallen troops from every war and ensures that they will not be forgotten.

We are fortunate to live in a country that values freedom, democracy and human rights. Our future depends on those willing to risk everything to protect our country and the families that support them. I hope you will keep our service members and their families in your hearts this August and take time to honor them throughout the year. Every day, members of our military persevere against immeasurable odds; we should not delegate a mere few days a year to think of them.