Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Backs State Issue 1 to Raise the Threshold to Amend the State Constitution

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he intends to vote for Ohio State Issue 1 aimed at altering the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments at the statewide special election in August.

Issue 1, if approved by voters, would mandate a 60 percent approval percentage for any future constitutional amendments, call for signatures from all 88 counties, and do away with the opportunity to “cure” petitions by collecting additional signatures if necessary.

DeWine voiced his opinion on the proposed Issue for the first time on Wednesday after lawmakers discussed it for months before passage in the Ohio Legislature.

“Yes, I will vote for it,” DeWine said.

According to DeWine, his concern is that outside interest groups can spend a ton of money to impact the state constitution when it’s better handled through the legislative process.

“I think if you look at some of the arguments that have been made, for example, the arguments made by the business community, the concern is that people can come in outside forces outside the state of Ohio and spend a ton of money to try to impact the (Ohio Constitution). The better process is frankly through the legislative process. This just creates a higher burden in regards to changing the constitution,” DeWine said.

The governor noted that people who want to amend the U.S. Constitution have to go through “a few hoops.” These hoops include passing the proposed amendment with a two-thirds majority in the U.S. House and Senate or a constitutional convention, and then three-fourths of the states must ratify it.

“If you look at the burden that exists to change the U.S. Constitution for example, you will find it quite complicated or it is a process that certainly causes for a few hoops to go over or go through and I think that’s why I will vote for it,” he said.

Voters will decide whether to approve State Issue 1 during a statewide special election on August 8th.

Three major business groups in the state including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, and the National Federation of Independent Business have voiced their support for the proposed Issue.

Critics said that State Issue 1 will not protect the state constitution from special interests but will rather add to the problem. Opponents have also filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court against State Issue 1 on the grounds that the resolution is unconstitutional and illegal.

Republican lawmakers are working on getting State Issue 1 approved by voters in August before a proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion in the state constitution goes before voters in November.

A second proposed amendment that would eventually raise the state’s minimum wage will likely appear on a 2024 ballot.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Mike DeWine.







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