Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We Don't Always Agree. . .

I must admit that I tend to support the same legislation that my husband (State Representative Jay Hottinger) supports. We tend to have the same philosophy about the size and scope of government. But below is a great example that demonstrates that we are not clones.

I was reading his latest news column entitled "Why Jobs Leave Ohio" (see below). It is basically about two bills that have been introduced in the Ohio House that he is supportive of. Both basically require that two departments within the State run certain reports to share with the legislators. I questioned him about these two bills. I asked him why in the world would you create a law that mandates a department run a report? His answer was because they don't do it now and the current Governor doesn't require it, so they don't have access to the information.

This is one reason why government frustrates me. HB337 would require the Ohio Department of Development to basically conduct an exit poll when companies leave Ohio. Why does this have to become a law??? Shouldn't they be doing this anyway??? Every time the Chamber loses a member, we ALWAYS find out why.

To have to legislate things of this nature is absurd.

Here is his news release on these two bills: (wouldn't you hate to be married to me?)

News column by
State Representative Jay Hottinger


State agencies and social service organizations across the state are working hard to meet the immediate physical needs of Ohioans, but the only long term solution is to get people employed in quality jobs so they are able to meet the needs of their families. The lack of jobs can be directly traced to companies that move, close, or downsize, but unless Ohio legislators know why a company relocates or goes out of business it is very difficult to effectively combat closures and relocations, or encourage additional hiring.

I believe that the crux of the problem is that companies leave Ohio, or close down, for a host of reasons. A family business may have no viable successor to the company founder and it is simply sold to a competitor or closed. Sometimes the state tax burden may prove too much to bear, other times it might be the local tax burden. Other times another state offers an incentive package that lures the company to another location, or a legal suit causes the company to go into bankruptcy. Sometimes different cities and counties will poach businesses from one location within Ohio to another. I would hazard a guess that many times a company closes purely because it cannot find enough customers to remain viable. In order to effectively help create an environment in Ohio that is conducive to commerce and hiring it is important that the General Assembly understand why businesses hire employees or leave Ohio. Toward this end two proposals have been introduced. The first is House Bill 346 which was introduced jointly by State Rep. Terry Boose and State Rep. Dave Hall. House Bill 346 will require the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to submit to the Ohio General Assembly a report on job placements and to also make the report publicly available on the Job and Family Services website. It is hoped that we will be able to better understand from this data why companies hire employees so that the Legislature can support those factors that result in hiring.

The second piece of legislation is House Bill 337which will require the Ohio Department of Development to track and report information on companies that leave Ohio. This bill was introduced by State Rep. Nan Baker and State Rep. Terry Boose to help the government better understand what drives jobs away from Ohio. While we know that taxes, overbearing regulations, and bureaucratic hoops are frustrating and expensive to comply with, we do not know what issues are the most problematic or affect the most businesses so that they can be remedied. House Bill 337 would require the Ohio Department of Development to collect some general information on the departing companies such as their former location in Ohio, their new location out of state, and what the company contributed to the Ohio economy as far as wages, taxes, and such things. It would also request that the company share why they left Ohio, though Ohio could not force them to divulge this information. The results of these questions would then be used to make Ohio a better place to work and do business.

Both of these bills are currently awaiting hearings in the Ohio House of Representatives Economic Development committee. While they would provide valuable information to the state for a relatively minor cost they have to date seen very little action and do not appear to be slated for passage. Without accurate information it will be very difficult for the legislature to craft fixes to state issues that plague our business base and drives hundreds of thousands of jobs out of state.

As always, I welcome your questions, comments and input on state government issues. Please feel free to contact me by mail (State Representative Jay Hottinger, 71st House District, 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215), by email ( or by phone (614-466-1482).

- Posted by Cheri Hottinger

1 comment:

George said...

LOL! You are right. You shouldn't need to legislate common sense, but yet we have speed limits, laws on discharging a fire arm in public places, laws against child abuse, labor laws, yelling fire in theaters, etc., etc., etc. The Ohio Revised Code is full of legislated common sense! Yes, it is absurd that the State does not conduct an exit interview of companies leaving Ohio! Whom are you going to hold responsible for this oversight? It is because nobody is taking responsibility that legislative muscle is needed to force the State to act responsibly.

At least your husband and Nan Baker (R-District 16) recognize the problem and are stepping up to the plate to take corrective action on behalf of the citizens of Ohio. This is better than complaining about the absurdity and watching nothing get done. They should be supported, not criticized! Once common sense returns to the Capitol (and people in general) we can enact fewer laws and rescind those that have outlived their purpose.

George Citizen
Cleveland, Oh