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Auditor: State Has Too Many Planes, Not Enough Rules For Their Use

Ohio Auditor David Yost says the state has too many planes, and not enough policies governing their use. Last winter, Democratic state lawmaker Matt Lundy questioned how Republican Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and Republican House Speaker Bill Batchelder were using state planes. Lundy claimed they were using the planes for convenience purposes, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Republican Ohio Auditor David Yost has done an audit on the plane usage. Office spokeswoman Carrie Bartunek says Yost found Ohio does not have clear rules for how and when planes can be used.

We did not find any formal policies or procedures that actually cite when it’s appropriate or not appropriate to use a plane. Therefore, without those guidelines, it was difficult to say that any flight was inappropriate because there were no guidelines to match it to.

As part of his report, Yost recommends that the state sells one of the aircraft. Representative Lundy says he now will try to get the Ohio legislature to deal with the issue.

As legislators, we need to look at putting in place stronger guidelines, rules, regulations, laws regarding the use of state property including planes.

"And this includes colleges and universities. I think we need to tighten our belts and have greater accountability as to what is public purpose, public use," Lundy says. Yost’s report recommends specific steps that should be taken when coming up with rules and regulations for the plane. ….suggestions that Lundy says could be put into the proposed legislation.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.