Senate OKs Ohio Bill Shielding Liquor Deal Money

ALCOHOL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Proceeds of the state’s $1.5 billion liquor deal with a job-creation nonprofit would be shielded from public audit under a bill headed to the governor.

The Republican-led Senate passed the measure on a 22-10 vote Thursday, despite objections from state Auditor Dave Yost.

Backers say the move clarifies the Legislature’s intent for JobsOhio, a private job-creation entity formed by Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk).

The change follows a faceoff between Yost and JobsOhio over access to its financial records. Yost got the records through a subpoena, though JobsOhio disagreed they were subject to audit.

A House amendment added Wednesday to the bill explicitly limits Yost’s authority to JobsOhio’s public funds and defines liquor proceeds as private.

JobsOhio’s dealings have been the subject of legal and political disagreements since its 2011 creation.

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