Business Leaders Worried About Losing Control of Development Funds

CLEVELAND (AP) - State officials are taking away control of about 65 (m) million dollars from a commission set up to hand out grants to boost Ohio's technology-based economy.

The Third Frontier Project has a nine-member commission in charge of the grants, which help entrepreneurs start or expand tech companies.

The commission is made up of mostly business leaders and still has control over 360 (m) million dollars in grant money for the next two years, but about 20 percent has been earmarked for projects contained in the new state budget.

Most of the earmarked money will go to the Ohio Board of Regents to promote research at public colleges.

Richard Fearon is a Third Frontier commissioner and an executive at Eaton Corporation in Cleveland. With the state involved, he's worried about politics entering into the decisions over who gets the money.