Thu. 11:24am: Senate weighs bill shielding liquor deal money
COLUMBUS (AP) – Proceeds of the state’s $1.5 billion liquor deal with a job-creation nonprofit would be shielded from public audit under a bill before the Ohio Senate.
The Republican-led House added the provision to an auditing measure it passed Wednesday.
Backers say the move clarifies the Legislature’s intent for JobsOhio, a private job-creation entity formed by Gov. John Kasich.
The change follows a faceoff between state Auditor Dave Yost and JobsOhio over access to its financial records. Yost got the records through a subpoena, though JobsOhio disagreed they were subject to audit.
The amendment explicitly limits Yost’s authority to JobsOhio’s public funds and defines liquor proceeds as private.
Democrats contend it would allow secret dealings by JobsOhio, which has been the subject of legal and political disagreements since its 2011 creation.