Millions of Ohio motorists were blindsided by a June 9 raid on $2.7 million they had voluntarily paid to thwart blindness in children and help solve the critical shortage of organ donations.
When The Dispatch opened Gov. Ted Strickland's eyes yesterday to his administration's grab of $1.4 million intended for the Save Our Sight Fund, he promised that the money would be returned.
The sight and organ funds, both administered by the Ohio Department of Health, were among about 70 so-called "rotary funds" raided by the Strickland administration for a total of $120 million to help close a $1.9 billion shortfall in the two-year budget that ended June 30. Rotary funds are those supported by fees or donations.
The General Assembly passed a bill last year allowing the administration to transfer money from the rotary funds to the state's general operating fund.
Dailey said he thought the sight and organ funds are among only three rotary funds that receive voluntary contributions. The other is a $1 state income-tax check-off that provides about $100,000 annually for the operating accounts of the Ohio Republican and Democratic parties. No money was taken from the political parties' funds. (see full story at Columbus Dispatch here)