ONUMBA.COM – On February 24, Onumba.com and Call & Post Political and Community Reporter Ike Mgbatogu interviewed Ohio House Democratic Leader Armond Budish at his Riffe Tower office Downtown Columbus, focusing on a wide panoply of issues that has him at odds with Republican Governor John Kasich.
Here are excerpts of the interview. A full story of the conversation will appear in the Call & Post newspaper next week.
On House Bill 1, The HB 1 calls for, ‘JobsOhio’ to usurp the job creation role of the Department of Development to be managed by a small cabal of folks assembled from the business community. Mark Kvamme, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist The bill passed on straight party line, with all Republicans voting for it while all Democrats opposed it. Gov. Kasich has called the Department of Development stale and unproductive in terms of job creation, he believes his new ‘Jobs Ohio’ Initiative is the way to go.
“HB1 takes a billion dollar of tax payer money, turns it over to a group of private individuals led by the governor” for economic development.
“The problem is those funds can now be expended in secret.” Budish said that JobsOhio is “exempted from Ohio Sunshine laws, accountability laws and from Ohio’s ethics laws. Why in the world would you ever exempt the expenditure of our tax dollars from Ohio’s ethics laws.”
On Senate Bill 5, “It is extremely unfair.” “Collective bargaining levels the playing field. SB 5 is trying to turn back the clock.”
On $400 high speed rail grant: It was ‘no thank you.’ Gov. Kasich turned down the money, returned it back to the Obama administration. “The money would have benefited freight in the state of Ohio.”
On diversity and cabinet makeup: “All people in Ohio should be concerned about the makeup of the cabinet. The strength of Ohio is our diversity. We are a diverse state and that’s a strong plus. That is the best way to come up with the best decisions.”
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