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OUTSOURCING Group considers how to keep jobs in Ohio

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The group also recommends holding the line on college tuition increases.
COLUMBUS -- The Outsourcing Study Group, initiated by state Sen. Marc Dann of Liberty, has issued a a list of recommendations for helping Ohio's economy.
The group was formed to address the issue of job loss to foreign countries. The group included several Ohio Senate democrats as well as representatives of the Ohio AFL-CIO, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees union, Ohio Department of Development, Ohio Small Business Council, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Policy Matters Ohio.
According to Dann, Senate Republicans also were involved in the discussions but refused to sign the group's recommendations.
Dann said Ohio lawmakers need to make a distinction between the state and federal capabilities when dealing with job loss.
Key issues
He said the federal government would need to deal with trade and immigration issues, but the state could do plenty, including favoring American companies and not giving economic incentives to companies with jobs overseas.
Dann said he plans to introduce legislation prohibiting the governor from entering into trade agreements or treaties with other countries without first gaining the approval of the Ohio Senate.
Among the summary recommendations of the group are fixing the states "antiquated" tax system, looking into the energy and transportation issues businesses face, continuing to invest in alternative fuel sources and acting immediately to revitalize the steel industry.
The group also recommends extending unemployment benefits and holding the line on college tuition increases.
More than 45,000 jobs have been lost since 2001 because of outsourcing-related reasons, according to the group.