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Government/Politics

Lawmakers sent to voters constitutional amendments on bail changes, citizens-only voting

Statehouse summer view.JPG
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau

Voters will consider two constitutional amendments this fall – one related to people accused of crimes and bail, and the other to immigrants and voting.

The amendments passed the Senate in a busy session Wednesday afternoon.

Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Huron) said the amendment would require judges consider the risk to public safety when setting bail for defendants.

“Ohioans care about public safety and I have no doubt that they will overwhelmingly support this amendment," Gavarone said.

But Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) said there’s already a bipartisan bail bill pending in the Senate that Republicans could move forward.

“Instead they are creating a bunch of hysterical talking points and scaring the public and insists that this should go to the ballot," Thomas said.

That passed along party lines.

But a resolution to ask voters to clarify in the constitution that only citizens can vote in Ohio passed unanimously. That's a contrast to its reception in the Ohio House last month, where it passed 68-28.

Another amendment that had been discussed as a possibility for this fall's ballot would have legalized marijuana. But a deal was worked out between the group pushing that issue and Republican leaders to keep that issue from this fall's ballot. The campaign to put it on the ballot will begin again in January.

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