As the Ohio Supreme Court weighs whether to hear ProgressOhio and the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law’s joint appeal regarding the constitutionality of JobsOhio, proponents and opponents of the new private job-creation agency hope the high court will settle the issue once and for all (see our August 3 blog post for more information). The Columbus Dispatch reports that the budget and commerce department has agreed to transfer to JobsOhio “rights to the state liquor business” and use of the profits to promote economic development, but Ohio Department of Commerce Director David Goodman declined to sign the agreement because “constitutional concerns raised about the entity and the transfer deal haven’t been addressed by the Ohio Supreme Court.” In a letter to Mark Kvamme, interim president and chief investment officer for JobsOhio, Director Goodman voiced concern over “lingering constitutional issues” regarding the transaction, including “whether JobsOhio violates the prohibition of the General Assembly from conferring corporate powers via special act; and whether the transfer improperly allows the state to lend credit to a private corporation.” JobsOhio views this as an opportunity “for the Supreme Court to address lingering legal questions, though Kvamme said he is confident that nothing about JobsOhio’s operation is unconstitutional.”

JobsOhio put the Kasich administration “in the unusual position of challenging itself in court” when it responded to Goodman’s refusal to sign the agreement by “asking the Ohio Supreme Court to settle the matter,” an editorial from the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

For more, read The Columbus Dispatch story and the Akron Beacon Journal story.