Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Ohio Homestead Act

The GOP in Ohio is looking for a fresh serving of pork:

Senate Bill No. 5, which was introduced by state Sen. Steve Buehrer, R-Delta, has a measure that would allow anyone who has attended college in Ohio or who graduated high school in the state and attended college out-of-state to apply for the grant. The bill was introduced to the Senate as a lottery where 300 applicants will be chosen to receive the grant.

"We continue to hear about the great 'brain drain' here in Ohio and how our best and our brightest, which are basically our college graduates, are fleeing the state at an alarming rate," Buehrer said. "That tells me they are seeing better opportunities somewhere else." ...

... Buehrer said he is looking for $2 million dollars in funding. He said he understands if all 300 applicants have post-graduate degrees it would cost more than the funding allocated, but that would be a problem he would like to have. He said more funding would be found if that were the case, and no eligible lottery winners would be turned down.

Kim Wheeler, Buehrer's legislative aide, said a similar bill has been passed in Louisiana to promote people to return after Hurricane Katrina.

I'll have to do some digging to find out how the Louisiana program is progressing and if it is stopping brain drain. Regardless, how does Buehrer know how much of the $2 million would go to people who would reside in Ohio without the funding? I'd bet even those Ohio high school graduates who went to college outside of the state and are eligible for the money would demonstrate the same dynamic of self-selection.

Which Ohio-based corporate realtor thought up this scheme? Try some labor market incentives next time.

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