Yost Wants More Policies For State Airplane Usage

Sep 7, 2012

Ohio Auditor David Yost says the state has too many airplanes and not enough policies for tracking their usage.

 Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

Last winter, Democratic state lawmaker Matt Lundy questioned how republican Lieutenant 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 and his spokeswoman, Carrie Bartunek, says Yost found Ohio does not have clear rules for how and when planes can be used.

Bartunek – 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.

Lundy – 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.

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.