Ohio Considering Raising Standard to Approve Constitutional Amendments
Legislators in Ohio are considering changes to how the Buckeye State approves constitutional amendments. With reform measures increasingly gaining traction at the ballot box, this movement is certainly worth watching.
Most notably, the bill would raise the needed vote to approve a constitutional amendment to 60%, joining Illinois and Florida at that threshold. New Hampshire requires a 2/3s majority vote.
Proponents of this change would cite the difficulty in amending the U.S. Constitution and argue that state constitutions should be similarly tough to alter and require strong consensus. Opponents would argue that the will of the people should be respected with a simple majority vote.
Another change would increase the number of signatures needed to be gathered to force the legislature to consider an issue, move up the deadline signatures are required to be gathered, and put a deadline on the amount of time signatures are valid (180 days).
To ease the process, however, the bill would allow the proposal to go straight to the ballot if the legislature failed to vote on it as opposed to requiring more signatures.
A positive step in the legislation is the idea of forbidding the legislature from making any changes to what the people passed for a minimum of 1 year. This would avoid a situation like what Take Back Our Republic faced in South Dakota, where the state legislature immediately undid what the people had voted for.
Of note, Take Back Our Republic supported Issue One on the ballot during the 2018 primary election in Ohio. It passed overwhelmingly and would have still passed under the proposed rules (gaining nearly 75% of the vote).
What do you think? Are these positive steps? Negative? A mixed bag? Join the conversation at: https://www.facebook.com/takebackorg/.