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Posted on behalf of Sen. Charles F. Horn <chorn@mailr.sen.state.oh.us>

December 2000

As the eventful year 2000 draws to a close I will be folding my tent at
the Ohio Senate after 16 years but will continue my efforts in stimulating
new economy thinking in economic development just under another format.

The material on my website and in our periodic reports has been pretty
much a volunteer effort with the dedicated work of my former aide, Ray
DiRossi (now married with a new baby), and then Chris Vaughan,  my current
aide, now also leaving for a new job.  They joined me in philosophy and
spent many personal hours, which I much appreciate.  Without their
volunteer efforts even our modest efforts would not have been possible.

For many years I have promoted the notion of economic development based on
utilization of technology to develop new products and processes thus
making our businesses more competitive in the broader marketplace- clearly
a value added and wealth producing process.  Further, I have advocated
that we start thinking of economic development in regional terms, both in
sub-state and multiple state regions as is happening around the world, for
greater efficiency and productivity.

Here is one version of our dilemma.  Each state in our region has an
arsenal of incentive programs which are pretty much the same (implemented
by one: copied by many).  These programs are designed to lure companies
and "jobs" from another state or to keep another state from luring away
its "jobs".   More recently some programs support research and product
development as well as targeted training, workforce development and
venture capital.  However, there is not much evidence of cutback in the
traditional "job creation" programs, which are largely funded by local tax
reductions under state programs.  These programs have eroded local school
funding which now increasingly comes from state general funds.  Therein lies
the political disconnect.  Mayors and County Commissioners need the programs
"compete" while the states pick up school funding.  A recent study
estimated annual commitment of resources to job programs in one Midwestern
State at a billion dollars at a time of virtual full employment.  Do we
have a jobs problem, or a training and workforce development problem?

We are now seeing states commit larger sums to technology programs but
most states are having significant problems in funding education, rising
medical costs, potential energy costs and other demands on those shrinking
surpluses of recent years.  Isn't it time we explore some new strategies
to enhance the competitive position of our region in the world marketplace
instead of the costly tax competition between the states?

You have not heard much from the Horn network lately.  We have been busy
with the Senate calendar and preparing to close up shop.  We have some
good stuff, which we haven't been able to get out, however I do plan to
continue the web site and the network reports presumably as a service to
those of you staying the course in legislatures across the country.  My
deep thanks to the National Conference of State Legislators, the
Midwestern Legislative Conference, the Conference of State Governments,
ALEC and the economists who have responded to my inquiries.  Thanks also
to the many good friends I have met through these channels that gave their
time and good will.  I hope to see you from time to time.

In the meantime, I will be leading a group to Cuba for the People-to-People
Ambassador programs to explore business opportunities if and when Congress
modifies the embargo policy.  Having been to Cuba years ago as emissary for
the International Sister City Org. I am looking forward to my return in late
March, 01.

Anyone interested in the Cuba trip contact Kristi Wheeldon at 800.669.7882
ext. 422 (PDS), by fax at 509.532.3556 or by e-mail at:

Until I get my official new web site established  (Center for Regional
Economic Strategies Ltd.) I can be reached at 2323 West Schantz Ave.
Dayton, Ohio, 45409.  Tel. 937-293 1000, Fax. 937-293 4707, E mail
cfhorn005@hotmail.com  OR cfhorn@ameritech.net.

Wishing you all a successful and HAPPY NEW YEAR

Chuck Horn

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