With just days remaining before the May 4 primary, Issue 2 - moving the Columbus casino to the West Side - is attracting endorsements from a diverse group of supporters.

With just days remaining before the May 4 primary, Issue 2 moving the Columbus casino to the West Side is attracting endorsements from a diverse group of supporters.

The latest to support Issue 2 are the Ohio F.O.P., F.O.P. Capital City Lodge #9, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), the Ohio County Commissioners Association and Progress Ohio.

Issue 2 has earned support from neighborhood, business, union and civic leaders from the West Side, Columbus, Franklin County and the state of Ohio. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Columbus Chamber, Experience Columbus and the Ohio Farm Bureau are also supporting the passage of Issue 2.

Issue 2 also enjoys strong bipartisan support from elected leaders from all around Ohio, including Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, Columbus City Council, the Franklin County Commissioners and many of their counterparts in other major Ohio cities. Endorsements also have come from the Ohio Democratic Party, Ohio Republican Party and both major-party Ohio gubernatorial candidates, Gov. Ted Strickland and former U.S. Rep. John Kasich.

For a complete list of local and statewide endorsements of Issue 2, visit www.StandUpfor2.com.

If approved, State Issue 2 would amend the Ohio Constitution to permit the Columbus casino's location to move to the vacant GM-Delphi automotive plant on the West Side. The amendment is necessary because State Issue 3, approved by voters last November to allow casino gaming in Ohio, authorized casinos at specific sites in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo.

Columbus casino developer and operator Penn National Gaming, Inc., agreed to a location change after listening to Columbus residents, political leaders and organizations. All urged an alternate location. The Ohio General Assembly, with strong bipartisan support, placed Issue 2 on the May 4 ballot.

Supporters of Issue 2 say its passage will create 3,500 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs, as well as generate $64.1-million in new casino tax revenues to Columbus, Franklin County and public schools, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Issue 1 would let state

issue bonds for Third Frontier

In addition to state Issue 2, the amendment to change the location of a Columbus casino, Ohio voters also will decide on state Issue 1, which involves Ohio's Third Frontier program.

Created in 2002 within the Ohio Department of Development, Third Frontier aims to expand Ohio's high-tech research capabilities that are designed to accelerate the pace of commercialization within the state, according to Third Frontier's website.

Some programs supported by the Ohio Third Frontier include research and development of advanced energy programs, biomedical and fuel-cell research, the Ohio Research Commercialization grant program, entrepreneurial programs and others.

The proposed state constitutional amendment would authorize the state to issue up to $700-million in bonds for the initiative over a four-year period. The bonds would provide financial assistance and support for Third Frontier's research, product innovation and such industries as manufacturing, agribusiness and alternative energy.