COLUMBUS — The Ohio Senate passed legislation this week that would provide down-payment assistance for college graduates who agree to stay in the state. On a 33-0 vote, the chamber OK’d Substitute Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Sen. Steve Buehrer, a Republican [sic] from Delta. It heads to the Ohio House for further deliberations.

“This bill has three simple goals,” Buehrer said in urging support for the legislation. “Stop brain drain, increase the number of our citizens with degrees and … (create) a few new home buyers in our state.”

The legislation would create a Grants for Grads program, providing a limited number of awards to Ohio residents who have earned associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate or post-doctorage degrees.

About 300 awards of $2,500-$10,000 would be made each year through a statewide lottery system. The program would be aimed at first-time homebuyers, and grants would have to be used to cover closing costs or down payments.

Instead of bribing grads to stay here, why doesn’t the legislature quit robbing them blind and restricting what they can do? People leave the state because there is more opportunity elsewhere. So quit blocking opportunity here! 

I’m not even sure how much of an incentive this would be. It has been pretty easy (maybe not now) to get a no-money-down mortgage if your credit is at all good.  Yes, it’s free money, but in the context of a person’s earning potential, would they find it worth a 5 year leash, especially if they were a technology grad, as opposed to a Womyn’s Studies major?  And what if you get a job in Ohio and your company wants to promote you out-of-state?


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