Ohio Lawmakers Delay Vote On Constitutional Amendment Changes

Dec 6, 2018

A proposal to make it more difficult for citizens and groups to put amendments to the Ohio Constitution before voters may be running out of time. It didn’t get a vote in a House committee today. State lawmakers had wanted to make changes in the process because of recent big-money ballot issues that failed overwhelmingly.

The resolution would require amendments be approved by 60% of Ohio voters, not a simple majority, and would shorten the time frame to file signatures.

Republican House Speaker Ryan Smith won’t say it’s dead, but said he wants protections for the constitution now. “We’re clearly running out of a little bit of runway to do that, but I’m hoping that we still get feedback and keep the conversation moving forward,” Smith said.

Jen Miller with the League of Women Voters of Ohio is among the good government advocates calling for a total stop to the resolution. “I think it’s too late in lame duck to be talking about something so critical as how the people manage the greatest document of our land, the Ohio Constitution,” Miller said.

Democrats also oppose the resolution, which if passed by lawmakers, would still have to go before voters.