Monday, February 1, 2010

Lee Fisher commentary: Third Frontier is key to nurturing Ohio recovery

In the midst of a punishing recession, Ohio's Third Frontier program has been a rare bright spot and a critical driver of economic growth across our state. Since the bipartisan economic-development program was enacted under former Gov. Bob Taft, state grants have helped create more than 41,000 jobs and $6.6 billion in economic activity through 2008. That was a $10 return on every dollar invested by the state.
And yet, despite the undisputable success of this effort to nurture home-grown, high-tech companies, some Republicans in the legislature oppose a robust renewal of this vital program. The Ohio House has passed a measure to extend the program for five years at a cost of $950 million, while the Republican-controlled Senate has proposed a far smaller effort of $500 million over the same time frame.

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