The Ohio Storm Water Task Force selected the Water Quality Laboratory to examine Ohio Revised Code and identify legal obstacles and opportunities for enabling multijurisdictional watershed management. Legislation from seven other states is also reviewed to assess other approaches to managing watershed resources across traditional political boundaries. Upon assembling a matrix of important characteristics of eight state policies, a framework for applying multi-criteria decision analysis is proposed for decision makers to determine tradeoffs between decision criteria. Preliminary analysis allows us to reject the working hypothesis, “the State of Ohio lacks legislation to enable comprehensive and multi-jurisdictional watershed management.” Furthermore, we question why legislation drafted in the 1960’s has remained dormant despite state efforts at promoting community-based watershed planning initiatives as the primary means for achieving river restoration via federal Clean Water Act programs such as TMDLs and Storm Water Phase II. Other state models are compared setting the stage for state officials to take advantage of multi-criteria decision analysis.