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A Blueprint for Rebuilding Ohio?

by john stephenson / /

Earlier this week, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce released a report, "Redesiging Ohio," which outlines several proposals for reforming the state to foster for economic prosperity. According to the Chamber,

"Ohio is facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis. Although we're not alone, we would be remiss in not taking this opportunity to transform our state government to one that is sustainable and provides greater value to our citizens. Getting more for less is both the best response to our current crisis and a necessary step toward building a strong state economy that can compete in the 21st century. The time for action is now. Our state government must become more flexible, adaptable and innovative -- searching constantly for new ways to improve services and heighten productivity."

The report is the product of a year's worth of work by the major local and regional chambers of commerce in Ohio. It's well worth a read.

Among the recommendations called for in the report are basic but important reforms, such as a move towards priority-based budgeting. Other reforms are much bolder, such as linking salaries to performance rather than longevity. While there are some problematic recommendations, especially with regards to failed policies like the film production tax credit, Redesiging Ohio is a good start to reforming the Buckeye State. Many of these recommendations have been endorsed by Governor-elect John Kasich and the GOP majorities in the Ohio House and Senate. However, entrenched interests who survive because of the status quo will not accept many of these recommendations. Expect to a see a spectacular fight over the implementation of these recommendations in the weeks ahead.