Ohio Republican Leaders Propose Legislation Increasing Threshold for Citizen-Led Ballot Initiatives

Ohio Republicans introduced a new resolution on Thursday that would require citizen-led constitutional amendments to gain a 60 percent supermajority at the ballot for passage.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose and State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) initiated the “Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment,” which they say is designed to help protect the Ohio Constitution from continued misuse by special interest and out-of-state activists.

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Buckeye Institute Disputes Expanded Municipal Taxing Authority in Ohio on Behalf of Blue Ash Resident

A Columbus-based think tank this week filed its legal response in the Ohio Supreme Court in defense of a Blue Ash man who believes the state cannot make him pay Cincinnati income taxes for a period of time he actually worked from home. 

The Buckeye Institute argued that a state law passed in March 2020 to allow jurisdictions encompassing an “employee’s principal place of work” to levy taxes on that worker even when he or she works from home is unconstitutional. Specifically, the institute notes that the federal Constitution’s dormant commerce clause in Article I, Section 8 disallows states to enact statutes that “unduly burden interstate commerce.” Buckeye attorneys also believe the Ohio Constitution constrains lawmakers’ ability to broaden cities and towns’ tax-collection power. 

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Progressive Ohio College Town Continues Push to Let Noncitizens Vote

Democratic officials who run the village of Yellow Springs, a progressive college town near Dayton, are persisting in their effort to legalize noncitizen voting. 

Mayor Pam Conine (D) is pushing for the enactment of a state constitutional amendment that would actualize the policy. Yellow Springs voters approved a referendum in 2019 allowing dozens of noncitizen residents of the village to participate in local and state elections, but the measure never went into effect. 

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Hold on Ohio Abortion Restriction to Last at Least Two More Weeks

Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins (D) this week indicated he will extend his hold on a significant Ohio abortion-restricting law for two additional weeks. 

Jenkins’s decision prolongs the effect of a decision he made last week to obstruct the Heartbeat Act’s implementation, with the initial freeze to last two weeks. The state General Assembly passed and Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed the bill (SB 23) in 2019. The legislation, which prohibits aborting unborn children who have detectable heartbeats, could not take effect until this year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. 

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Candidate for Cuyahoga County Executive Backs Noncitizen Voting

Chris Ronayne, the Democratic candidate for Cuyahoga County executive, said in a public forum this week that he would support Ohio’s municipalities allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.

The former Cleveland city administrator and former president of University Circle, Inc., a community-development corporation, explained to attendees at the Global Cleveland panel discussion at Jukebox that he believed cities can use their home-rule powers to adopt that election policy.

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Language Finalized on Proposed Ohio Referendum Banning Noncitizen Voting

This week the Ohio Ballot Board finalized the wording of a referendum on a proposed state constitutional amendment to prohibit noncitizens from participating in local and state elections. 

A majority of Ohio voters will need to approve the measure during the November 8 election for the amendment to become law. The ballot question informs electors that the amendment would “require that only a citizen of the United States, who is at least 18 years of age and who has been a legal resident and registered voter for at least 30 days, can vote at any state or local election held in this state” and that the law would “prohibit local governments from allowing a person to vote in local elections if they are not legally qualified to vote in state elections.”

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Ohio House Passes Resolution Calling for Only Citizens to Vote

Ohio voters moved a step closer to deciding if noncitizens can vote in local elections after the House on Wednesday approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would put the issue on the November ballot.

Supporters said House Joint Resolution 4 would close a loophole that could allow noncitizens to vote on local candidates and tax issues in cities and villages. If it passes the Senate, it could appear before voters in November.

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Always Right with Host Bob Frantz: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose on the Continuation of Moving Goal Posts

Monday morning on Always Right with Bob Frantz, weekday mornings on AM 1420 The Answer, host Frantz welcomed Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to the show to discuss the strategy of Democrats to ‘sue until their blue’ and violate the Ohio constitution.

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Ohio University Students Suing School over ‘Illegal’ Vaccine Mandates

A student at Ohio University has filed a lawsuit against the school over its COVID-19 vaccination mandate. 

“Everyone who wants to be vaccinated has been vaccinated at Ohio University,” Tyce Patt told The Ohio Star. “I believe it is not only wrong to force students to get an experimental Emergency Use Authorized vaccine to go to class, but also Illegal.”

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Lawsuit Challenges Ohio’s Stand Your Ground Law

Two state lawmakers, the Ohio State Conference of the NAACP and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative filed a lawsuit Thursday that challenges the state’s recently passed Stand Your Ground law, claiming Republican legislators violated the state constitution.

The lawsuit claims GOP lawmakers added the measure to an unrelated bill and passed it an hour later without providing public notice or debate. Everytown Law, an organization with a New York City mailing address that litigates gun safety issues, is representing the four plantiffs, along with the Ohio law firm Bloomekatz Law.

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Commentary: Ohio Department of Health’s Orders May Be Prudent, But Are Largely Unenforceable

State and federal constitutions entitle Ohioans to protections, which remain in place even as the state implements seemingly prudent restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 22, the Ohio Department of Health issued its “Director’s Stay at Home Order.” This Order, like others before it, relies upon the delegation to the Ohio Department of Health of a sweeping power – never previously relied upon or analyzed by a single court in the history of the state – to exercise “ultimate authority in matters of quarantine and isolation.”

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While Senate Hears Legislation to Change Law Allowing State Takeovers of Failing School Districts, Ohio Supreme Court Takes Up The Case

The Senate Education Committee has been considering House Bill 154 (HB 154) for several months. The bill would eliminate all current academic distress commissions and repeal the law, prohibiting the formation of new ones. The purpose of academic distress commissions is to take over chronically failing school districts. The commissions were created by House Bill 70 (HB 70), the constitutionality of which is currently under consideration by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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Ohio Attorney Expresses Concern About Identifying a City as a ‘Victim’ in Supreme Court Case, Calls It a ‘Very Slippery Slope’

The City of Centerville in Montgomery County wants the Ohio Supreme Court to consider it a “victim” based upon the “rights of victims of crime” in the Ohio Constitution.

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Opponents Fight Legislators’ Attempts to Eliminate Testing of Founding Documents

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – Opponents spoke out against House Bill 239 (HB 239) Tuesday evening at the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee meeting.  The bill, jointly sponsored by Republican State Rep. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Democratic State Rep. Erica Crawley (D-Columbus), would eliminate four of the seven end-of-course exams. Two of…

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Top Lawmakers Say Ohio Constitution Too Easy to Change

State House Speaker Ryan Smith says Ohio’s Constitution is under attack. Special-interest groups have been asking voters to amend the state’s constitution as a way of bypassing the legislature on certain issues, he said in a radio interview with Jo Ingles of the Statehouse News Bureau. Smith said Ohio’s founding fathers did not…

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