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New bill would raise the bar to pass amendments to Ohio Constitution

Ohio Voted sticker

A new proposal in the Ohio House would make it harder to get citizen-led issues into the Ohio Constitution.

The bill introduced by Republican Representative Brian Stewart would require 60% of voters to approve an amendment. The current thresh hold is 50% plus one vote. The same cut-off would not apply to proposed amendments out forward by Ohio's GOP-controlled state Legislature.

In recent years, only two amendments were approved by less than 60% of the vote. In 2015 an issue that would bar initiatives that created economic monopolies narrowly passed with 51% of the vote. In 2009, a constitutional amendment authorizing casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo was approved by 52.9% of voters. It was the third attempt by casino interests to pass a constitutional amendment.

Stewart's proposal would need to be passed by the state House and Senate this year, to make the ballot next May. It has the backing of Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.