Legislators in Columbus proved they CAN act quickly when they want to. Yesterday they voted to move tobacco funds out of the foundation which administers them so that the foundation couldn't transfer the money to non-profits out of the reach of state government.
And now it begins...the bickering, scrambling and maybe even court battles over who gets to decide how to spend the money.
Perhaps I'm really off-base, but I thought the whole purpose of the lawsuit against the tobacco companies by the states was to ensure that future medical costs from this 'addiction' would be paid for by the companies and not the state - hence the huge settlement.
But the money has been diverted to other general fund purposes and spent on huge anti-smoking campaigns with little notice of how much of it is actually going toward medical bills.
And how much money does the state really need for anti-smoking campaigns? Do they really need $270 million for this??? That's the amount that was in the account prior to the state's action yesterday.
The point isn't really the original intent of the funds. It's all about who gets to decide - and, as yesterday's vote shows, those in Columbus think they know best. Never mind that this so-called 'stimulus' will do little to stimulate the economy.
In my WSPD interview with Jon Husted, he explains that other states are doing these kinds of 'stimulus' projects, so Ohio has to follow their lead.
If elected officials in Columbus really want to stimulate the economy, they'd reduce government spending, reduce government taxation, reduce government regulation and make Ohio a 'right-to-work' state. If they're really interested in duplicating what other states do, they should at least follow in the steps of the ones that are successful!