Marking a return from summer legislative recess today, the Ohio House passed state Rep. John M. Rogers’ (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) House Bill 122, bipartisan legislation to look at strengthening regional economic alliances and partnerships between Ohio communities.
“To make us more economically competitive as a state, we need a forward-looking growth strategy that examines the features, challenges and benefits of regional economic development partnerships,” said Rep. Rogers. “By working together, we can secure good-paying jobs for people in advanced and emerging sectors of our economy. This legislation aims to do exactly that.”
The proposed statewide Regional Economic Development Study Committee, jointly sponsored by Rep. Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick), would seek input from groups like county commissioners, township trustees, mayors, city councils, chambers of commerce and other similar groups to form recommendations on communities sharing resources and services to establish a regional economic development strategy.
“Strong regional economic partnerships are a win-win for communities and businesses,” added Rogers. “Bringing people together with one goal in mind – good jobs and growth – will better focus our economic development efforts while maximizing resources and saving taxpayers money.”
The proposed committee would be bipartisan, consisting of members from the both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, a designee of the Governor, academic representatives, and a representative from the Regional Prosperity Initiative. The committee is to submit a report of its findings within one year of the effective date of the bill.