Today we learned that 251 more positions will be eliminated as a result of the administration’s “Jobs Budget” and privatization of economic development.
The administration released its plan to restructure the Ohio Department of Development as a precursor to outsourcing economic development to JobsOhio, a newly formed private corporation. As part of the transition, the staffing at the Department will be reduced by 211 positions. The plan calls for the elimination of positions in the Office of Appalachia, overseas and regional offices, the outsourcing of a variety of functions and migration of other activities to JobsOhio.
Meanwhile, news reports indicate that the Ohio Consumers Counsel, the designated legal advocate for Ohioans in matters related to regulated utilities, has fired 40 of its 82-person staff as a result of cuts in the Kasich budget. It is worth noting that cuts to the Consumers Counsel were not necessitated by the State’s general revenue shortfall, as the agency is independently funded. Instead, it appears to be ideologically driven, coming on the heels of direct lobbying of the Governor by his close friends who were employed by natural gas companies criticized by the Consumers Counsel for marketing practices and pricing.