After serving four months as the Ohio Development Leader, Jim Leftwich is leaving the position.
Gov. John Kasich's office stated that as Leftwich plans to return to the private sector, Christiane "Chris" Schmenk, general counsel for the Ohio Department of Development, will take over. Schmenk will lead the department's reorganization as the state's economic development efforts are moved to the new nonprofit private corporation JobsOhio. Schmenk will assume the director's role on Aug. 1.
Ohio's budget director Tim Keen told a budget compromise committee Wednesday that tax revenues were up $1 billion over estimates for the fiscal year that ends this month and $421 million for the next two-year budget cycle. The current-year boost comes from stronger income tax filings, as the state looks to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Ohio will get an additional $110-million thanks to a deal reached between Governor John Kasich and casino operator Rock Ohio Caesars. In exchange ROC will only pay Ohio's commercial activity tax on what people wager, minus winnings. Rock CEO Dan Gilbert calls the deal fair and reliable.
Gilbert says the size and scope of the Cincinnati casino isn't changing. He expects to open in spring 2013. Governor Kasich says Ohio needed a comprehensive gaming plan.