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.

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