(A) As used in this section, "Appalachian region" means the following counties in this state that have been designated as part of Appalachia by the federal Appalachian regional commission and that have been geographically isolated and economically depressed: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington.
(B) There is hereby created in the department of development the governor's office of Appalachian Ohio. The governor shall designate the director of the governor's office of Appalachian Ohio. The director shall report directly to the office of the governor. On January 1, 1987, the governor shall designate the director to represent this state on the federal Appalachian regional commission. The director may appoint such employees as are necessary to exercise the powers and duties of this office. The director shall maintain local development districts as established within the Appalachian region for the purpose of regional planning for the distribution of funds from the Appalachian regional commission within the Appalachian region.
(C) The governor's office of Appalachian Ohio shall represent the interests of the Appalachian region in the government of this state. The duties of the director of the office shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) To identify residents of the Appalachian region qualified to serve on state boards, commissions, and bodies and in state offices, and to bring these persons to the attention of the governor;
(2) To represent the interests of the Appalachian region in the general assembly and before state boards, commissions, bodies, and agencies;
(3) To assist in forming a consensus on public issues and policies among institutions and organizations that serve the Appalachian region;
(4) To act as an ombudsperson to assist in resolving differences between state or federal agencies and the officials of political subdivisions or private, nonprofit organizations located within the Appalachian region;
(5) To assist planning commissions, agencies, and organizations within the Appalachian region in distributing planning information and documents to the appropriate state and federal agencies and to assist in focusing attention on any findings and recommendations of these commissions, agencies, and organizations;
(6) To issue reports on the Appalachian region that describe progress achieved and the needs that still exist in the region;
(7) To assist the governor's office in resolving the problems of residents of the Appalachian region that come to the governor's attention.
(D) The amount of money from appropriated state funds allocated each year to pay administrative costs of a local development district existing on the effective date of this amendment shall not be decreased due to the creation and funding of additional local development districts. The amount of money allocated to each district shall be increased each year by the average percentage of increase in the consumer price index for the prior year.
As used in this division, "consumer price index" means the consumer price index for all urban consumers (United States city average, all items), prepared by the United States department of labor, bureau of labor statistics.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.
Effective Date: 10-29-1991