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What's inside Intel's deal with Ohio?

This May 3, 2021, image shows one of the signs at Intel's manufacturing campus in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Susan Montoya Bryan
Intel is expected to announce a new computer-chip factory in New Albany later this month.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the possible incentives Ohio used to land the $20 billion investment from Intel and what the political ramification might be.

Back in court

Ohio’s redistricting process is once again in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court. In the past week, the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved new maps for Ohio House and Senate Districts. They are a little less partisan than the ones rejected by the Supreme Court earlier this month.

The new maps narrow the GOP advantage to about 57% to 43%. That’s closer to how Ohio voters break down, which is roughly 54% to 46%.

Democrats on the commission voted against it, meaning it would only last 4 years, saying the maps are not as fair as they could be. So, voters rights groups led by The Ohio League of Women Voters have challenged the maps again.

Republicans argue this attempt is their best effort. They argue they cannot meet the 54-46 goal because of other provisions in the constitution, like requirements that districts be compact and communities kept whole when possible.

Chips ahoy!

Computer chip manufacturer Intel wants to build two computer chip plants just east of Columbus. Here’s the glowing governor. The 20 Billion Dollar project would create lots of construction jobs and then permanently employ 3,000 workers.

Intel says if things go right, they will build even more plants and possibly employ 10,000 workers.

It probably took a lot of effort and a lot of money to convince Intel to pick Ohio. But how much money, how many of your tax dollars? We don’t know yet. Governor DeWine said last week, they will release the details soon.

Statehouse observers say it’s likely the incentive package is at least in the billion-dollar range. A new state law expands tax credits for projects over a billion dollars and this certainly qualifies. And state officials promise to widen Route 161 from four lanes to six lanes, which probably isn't part of Intel’s budget.

Snollygoster of the week

According to the Columbus Dispatch, First Lady of Ohio Fran DeWine shrewdly helped land the Intel deal. Apparently, Mrs. DeWine served up an Ohio version of Eggs Benedict with fried green tomatoes while Intel executives visited the state. There was also Ohio bacon, sausage and maple syrup made by one of their sons.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

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