House Leaders: Opioid Settlement Amendment Won’t Make Ballot

Dec 10, 2019

A constitutional amendment backed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to set up a way to distribute opioid settlement money through a statewide foundation won’t go before voters in March. 

That’s according to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House, who would have to approve the proposal by next week.

Democratic House Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) said taking away lawmakers’ role in appropriating money is problematic, but she said local communities filed these opioid lawsuits because the AG didn’t.

“And so to come in at the 11th hour and say, we’re going to come grab the money, we’re going to tell you how to appropriate it when this administrative function never happened in the first place is a totally ridiculous exercise in judgment,” Sykes said.

Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) pointed out that fellow Republican Dave Yost wasn’t the only AG who could have filed lawsuits, and that he’s concerned that settlement money could be squandered. But Householder said there’s not enough time for this proposal.

“It’s not going to make the primary,” Householder said. “He needs a new plan.”

The proposal would have to pass both the House and Senate by December 18 to make the March ballot.