Ohio Gains Initiative Draws Support from Leadership Around the State

COLUMBUS This week, Treasurer Robert Sprague announced the new Ohio Gains initiative. The proposal aims to put the state’s balance sheet to work for Ohioans, while modernizing certain investment strategies. Since then, policymakers and industry leaders across a range of sectors have placed their support behind the newly introduced legislation.  

Here’s what they’re saying:

Pat Tiberi, President & CEO, Ohio Business Roundtable

“The Ohio Business Roundtable applauds Treasurer Sprague and his team for putting forth innovative policy solutions that will benefit businesses and healthcare institutions in our state.  These proposals will provide cost-saving opportunities to Ohio’s world-class hospitals and universities, all while ensuring the taxpayer’s dollars are invested wisely and efficiently.”

Jim Tressel, President, Youngstown State University

“Leadership and innovation are core characteristics of public universities across the Buckeye State. The same can be said of Treasurer Sprague and the legislative sponsors of the Ohio Gains initiative. If enacted, the proposal would provide state universities with an important new tool to manage debt obligations and lower costs.” 

Steve Glass, Chief Financial Officer, Cleveland Clinic

“Since October of last year, the Cleveland Clinic has witnessed first-hand the positive impact the Treasurer’s liquidity support has had on the Clinic’s VRDOs. This initiative has helped the Clinic achieve more favorable liquidity pricing and terms, and diversify its liquidity providers. Our Series 2013B-1 Bonds have also continued to reprice at yields at or below our other comparable variable rate obligations – resulting in a lower cost of capital for the Cleveland Clinic. We support Treasurer Sprague’s proposal to extend this program to other eligible entities that utilize VRDOs.” 

Chris Henney, President & CEO, Ohio Agribusiness Association

“The Ohio AgriBusiness Association knows the profound impact Ag-LINK can make in helping farmers and agribusinesses finance operating costs at a reduced rate. The proposal takes this valuable tool to the next level and will go a long way in supporting even more members of the agriculture community. Our association stands in support of this effort to modernize and improve the Ag-LINK program.” 

Bruce Johnson, President & CEO, Inter-University Council of Ohio

“The IUC stands in support of this forward-thinking and creative initiative. The Ohio Gains proposal will enhance the credit of participating public institutions and maximize their borrowing leverage through the State Treasurer’s office, while also maximizing the value of state funds. All of which will make for a more attractive and secure investment for the State of Ohio. This is a win-win.”

Deborah Bloomfield, PhD., Chief Financial Officer, Bon Secours Mercy Health

“Bon Secours Mercy Health commends Treasurer Sprague for continuing to recognize and build upon this public-private partnership with innovative financing solutions that will benefit patient care and entire communities throughout the State of Ohio.”

Cheryl Day, Executive Vice President, Ohio Pork Council

“The Ohio Pork Council supports this effort to expand the scope of Ag-LINK to allow agriculture co-ops to be eligible borrowers and to eliminate the program’s current loan cap. The legislative proposal will help Ohio’s agriculture community to receive additional assistance when it’s most needed.”

Brad Bond, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, University Hospitals Health System

“Having another source of liquidity available to us where we can leverage the benefits of longer-term capital at lower short-term rates is invaluable in a normal environment, but becomes exponentially more powerful when faced with the economic uncertainties of the current environment brought on by the pandemic. We applaud the proactive efforts of Treasurer Sprague in bringing forth this legislation to assist Ohio health systems in ensuring we have adequate capital resources so we can make the necessary investments to care for our communities.” 

Thomas Stocksdale, Senior VP and Ag Banking Manager, Farmers National Bank

“I have had the good fortune to work with Ag-LINK since its inception more than 30 years ago. In recent years, we have continuously pushed for the loan caps to be updated to meet the needs of today’s farmers and to keep pace with changes among the agriculture industry. Through his Ohio Gains proposal, it’s clear Treasurer Sprague also understands the need to update the program for the years ahead. I commend Treasurer Sprague and the legislative sponsors for driving this effort and working to help Ohio’s farmers.”

Al Saylor, Vice President of Commercial/Ag Lending, Citizens National Bank

“In thirty-plus years in banking, I have witnessed the profound benefits of Ag-LINK first-hand. Because of Ag-LINK, farmers have enhanced support when navigating the high and low cycles of the agriculture industry. But the program is capable of doing so much more, if only its programmatic and loan caps were brought into the 21st Century. That’s exactly what this proposal aims to do, and I commend Treasurer Sprague for working to modernize this very helpful program.”

Jim Chakeres, Executive Vice President, Ohio Poultry Association

“We applaud Treasurer Sprague’s effort to work with the legislature to modernize Ag-LINK and support family farms across Ohio. The proposed reforms will help Ohio’s farmers – especially young farmers continuing their family’s businesses – to obtain access to low-interest working capital. In doing so, we can ensure agriculture remains a prominent and important part of Ohio’s economy.” 

Legislative Sponsors

State Senator Jerry Cirino (R-Kirtland)

“The proposals laid out in our legislation exemplify how the General Assembly and Treasurer Sprague are exploring innovative ways to help Ohio’s farmers, agribusinesses, hospitals, and public universities. These wise investments of tax dollars will help Ohio prosper and assist many hard working Ohioans, and I am proud to be a part of this effort.”

State Senator Michael Rulli (R-Salem)

“Putting Ohio’s tax dollars to work in Ohio is something we can all agree on. By partnering with Treasurer Sprague, we can employ new financial strategies that go the extra mile to support our farmers, hospitals, and universities. I’m proud to stand with my colleague, Senator Cirino, to introduce and carry this very important piece of legislation.”  

State Representative D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron)

“I am proud to partner with Treasurer Sprague and Representative White to carry this legislation and advance the Ohio Gains initiative. Through this effort, we’re working to securely invest more of our treasury dollars in Ohio’s farms, hospitals, and public universities. Investing in Ohio-based businesses and institutions is a commonsense step in building a stronger Ohio.” 

State Representative Andrea White (R-Kettering)

“Ohioans expect their tax dollars to be invested wisely, with strong financial controls and the Ohio Gains initiative aims to achieve just that. In partnership with Treasurer Sprague, Representative Swearingen and I are carrying this legislation to support Ohio-based organizations while generating higher returns for Ohioans.  By safely leveraging the liquidity and strong credit rating of Ohio's Treasury, this proposal will go a long way in lowering borrowing costs for our farmers, hospitals and universities."  

Additional Information:


Robert Sprague became Ohio’s 49th Treasurer of State on January 14, 2019, bringing to the office his extensive experience working on financial matters in both the public and private sectors. Under Treasurer Sprague’s direction, the office manages the state’s $29 billion investment and $11 billion debt portfolios, collects and deposits all state revenues, and oversees custodial assets.