Loophole could lead to big raise

Ohio legislators inadvertantly created a mess when, in a bill they passed last year, they created a new agency. Designed to improve use of technology in state government, education and job placement, it is called InnovateOhio.

New Gov. Mike DeWine has said he plans to name Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, formerly secretary of state, to head InnovateOhio. If he does so, Husted will get a big pay raise.

Under the same bill in which they created the agency, lawmakers boosted salaries of many state officials. The lieutenant governor is to be paid $113,900 per year.

But the measure set pay for the InnovateOhio director at $176,426 — more than the $154,593 DeWine will make.

It is not unusual for a few highly qualified people in state government to be paid more than leaders in the executive and legislative branches. Still, there is — and should be — some concern over Husted’s situation and the fact he may be paid much more than he is entitled to for the office to which he was elected.

The General Assembly will need to spend some time and attention sorting out this issue — and do it soon.

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