Policy

Ohio legislators will ask voters to extend Third Frontier for four years with $700 million bond issue

A conference committee of the Ohio General Assembly agreed late Tuesday evening to ask voters to renew the Ohio Third Frontier project for four more years with a $700 million bond issue.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A conference committee of the Ohio General Assembly agreed late Tuesday evening to ask voters to renew the Ohio Third Frontier project for four more years with a $700 million bond issue.

The amount of general revenue bonds to be sold to extend the state’s biggest economic development project beyond its fiscal 2012 term is a compromise between  the $950 million adopted by the House and $500 million plus $100 million in public works money adopted by the Senate.

The joint resolution will not contain any public works money, said Maggie Ostrowski, spokeswoman for the Ohio Senate. The term of the renewal also will be one year shorter than the proposed five years.

Both General Assembly chambers must approve the joint resolution and file it with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner by the end of Wednesday for it to appear on the May 4 ballot.

Gov. Bob Taft started Third Frontier in 2002 to revitalize Ohio’s economy by investing in technology research, development and commercialization. Ohio voters turned down the first proposed bond issue to help pay for the project, but they approved a $500 million bond issue in 2005.