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2015 Ohio Election Ballot Issues

2015 Ohio Election Recap
(November 4, 2015) Ohio voters spoke loud and clearly yesterday, strongly rejecting a ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in our state, while endorsing two other state measures to reform the redistricting process and to prohibit market monopolies.
Here is a closer look at the three ballot issues:

Issue 1 –

Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that would significantly overhaul the state legislative redistricting process. By nearly a 3-1 margin, 71% in favor to 29% not in favor, Issue 1 passed with broad support. Polling had been strong for Issue 1 and it came as no surprise that it passed with such wide support. The ballot measure will establish a seven-member commission to redraw legislative districts starting in Jan. 1, 2021. Issue 1 was supported by both political parties and OGA also recommended its passage.

Issue 2 –

By far the closest of the three statewide ballot measures, Issue 2 ultimately passed by a thin margin of 4% – 52% in favor to 48% not in favor. Both Issue 2 and Issue 3 were closely tied together throughout the campaign, with both sides actively endorsing their respective issues. Now passed, the measure will prohibit special interest groups or individuals from placing economic monopolies on the ballot. In the future, any amendments such as Issue 3 could be placed on the ballot, but would be required to go before the voters twice, to be ultimately approved while the Ballot Board would be responsible for determining the amendment language. OGA recommended a yes vote on Issue 2 and we are pleased to see it reach passage.

Issue 3 –

The most highly talked about ballot measure, both statewide and nationally, failed by a wide margin yesterday by a count of 64% against and 36% in favor. The pro-marijuana group, ResponsibleOhio spent over $25 million to push for legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to sway voters.  Despite recent polling showing more than half of Ohioans support legalizing marijuana for personal and medical marijuana, in the end, most Ohioans saw Issue 3 as the creation of a marijuana monopoly for the sponsors and ultimately had concerns on the potential dangers to children. It is highly likely we will see more marijuana ballot initiatives in the future, likely next fall in 2016. Ohio legislatures have also had initial conversations on approving medical marijuana only, and we can expect to see possible legislation here soon. OGA was strongly opposed to Issue 3 and was happy to join over 140 other business groups in opposing the measure.

2015 Election Ballot Issue Preview

(October 22, 2015) The 2015 Election is a little less than two weeks away, which means the political commercials and advertisements are in full swing and many of you have or are going to be hitting the election booth soon to decide on what to vote for. We wanted to take the time to give a general overview on the current ballot issues on the ticket on November 3 and OGA’s position on each.

Here is a summary on the three main ballot issues – Issues 1, 2, and 3:

  • Issue 1 would amend the current redistricting model for drawing up Ohio’s legislative districts with a new bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission, made up of seven members – the Governor, State Auditor, Secretary of State, one person appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one person appointed by the legislative leader of the largest political party in the house which the speaker is not a member, one person appointed by the President of the Ohio Senate and one person appointed by the legislative leader of the largest political party in the senate of which the president is not a member. In addition to securing additional minority party representation, the constitutional amendment would require a bipartisan vote of four members, two from each majority political party, to approve a redistricting plan for 10 years. If passed, the amendment would go into effect in 2021, which is the next redistricting window. The proposal is supported by both the Ohio Democratic Party and the Ohio Republican Party and has gained support from the business community. OGA believes this a fair, bipartisan approach to improving the redistricting process and we urge a YES vote on Issue 1.
  • Issue 2 would forbid groups from passing a constitutional amendment that would unfairly establish economic monopolies that would directly benefit said group or their respective business interests. The language directs the Ohio Ballot Board to determine whether the proposed initiative would create such a monopoly or special privilege for any nonpublic entity, including individuals, corporations and organizations. If they determine it does, they submit two separate ballot questions, asking if the group proposing the amendment should be allowed to continue. Both questions would need to be approved and if only one question is approved, the amendment would be defeated. We believe this amendment would protect against unfair and unlawful ballot proposals and therefore OGA urges a YES vote on Issue 2.
  • Issue 3 would allow for the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana use in Ohio for those over the age of 21. Additionally, the proposal would create 10 facilities with the exclusive commercial rights to grow the drug. Retail marijuana stores would be the only approved location to sell marijuana with the amendment allowing for a maximum of 1,159 stores. If passed, this amendment would create a nightmare for our business owners, raising concerns with employment law and workplace safety aspects. It also further intensifies the growing difficulty employers face in hiring drug-free employees. OGA has actively been opposed to Issue 3 and we, like most of the business community in Ohio, have joined the No on Issue 3 campaign. To that end, there is great material out there – see attached documents below explaining the issue in greater detail and its potential impact on businesses. We urge a NO vote on Issue 3 on Election Day.Issue 3 Flyer
    Issue 3 powerpoint

If you have any questions on these issues please do not hesitate to contact Kristin Mullins at 614-448-1622 or email.


Proposed Minimum Wage and Drug Pricing Ballot Initiatives Surface

(October 15, 2015) Earlier this week, a proposal to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $12.00 per hour was filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Submitted by a group called “Stand Up Ohio,’ the proposal seeks to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot likely next year, 2016, to increase the minimum wage. The language seeks to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2017, with incremental increases of 50 cents per year until it reaches $12 per hour in 2021. Therefore after, it would be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the same as current law. As we await next steps – the proposal must be certified and the supporters would have to garner the appropriate amount of signatures to be placed on the ballot – OGA will continue to closely monitor the situation. OGA has serious concerns with this proposed language and will continue to report back to membership any updates.

OGA also has similar concerns with the proposed “Ohio Drug Price Relief Act” initiated statue which would require state programs to pay no more for prescription medications than prices negotiated by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The Ohio Ballot Board approved the language in August, and as with an initiated statue, supporters were given the green light to collect the necessary signatures to put the issue before the Ohio General Assembly. Should they be successful, the General Assembly would have four months to act on the legislation and if they reject or alter the language, supporters would have the opportunity to collect additional signatures to put the issue before voters, which would be the 2016 election if achieved. We worry about the impact such a proposal would have on our pharmacies and the costs associated with it.