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Constitutional Modernization Commission to study Ohio Constitution

Official website:   Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission

 

Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission was established in R.C. 103.61 with the passage of the House Bill 188. The Commission is modeled after the 1970s Ohio Constitutional Revision Commission, whose published recommendations may be accessed here.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission is charged under R.C. 103.61 with:

  • Studying the Constitution of Ohio;
  • Promoting an exchange of experiences and suggestions respecting desired changes in the Constitution;
  • Considering the problems pertaining to the amendment of the Constitution; and
  • Making recommendations from time to time to the general assembly for the amendment of the Constitution.

A commission recommendation is void unless it receives a two-thirds vote of the membership of the commission. In the event of a call for a constitutional convention, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission shall report to the general assembly its recommendations with respect to the organization of a convention, and report to the convention its recommendations with respect to amendment of the Constitution.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission shall make its first report to the general assembly not later than January 1, 2013. Thereafter, it shall report at least every two years until its work is completed. The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission shall complete its work on or before July 1, 2021, and shall cease to exist at that time. The terms of all members shall expire July 1, 2021.

Under R.C. 103.63, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission is composed of 32 members - twelve legislative members and 20 public members. Three legislative members are appointed from each legislative caucus by their respective legislative leaders.

Not later than January 1, 2012, and every two years thereafter, the twelve general assembly members shall meet, organize, and elect two co-chairpersons, who shall be from different political parties. The members shall then, by majority vote, appoint twenty commission members, not from the general assembly.

All appointments shall end of the first day of January of every even-numbered year, and the commission shall then be re-created in the manner provided above. Members may be re-appointed. Vacancies on the commission shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission meets on the second Thursday of every month. If you would like to receive notices of future meetings, please join the OCMC mailing list here.


MEMBERS OF COMMISSION

Under R.C. 103.63, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission is composed of 32 members - twelve legislative members and 20 public members. Three legislative members are appointed from each legislative caucus by their respective legislative leaders. 

Legislative Members

Public Members

AMENDING THE OHIO CONSTITUTION:

  • Either chamber of the General Assembly may propose a constitutional amendment by a three-fifths vote. The amendment must be approved by voters on the next scheduled ballot.
  • A group of Ohio voters may propose an amendment through ballot initiative. Signatures of 1,000 qualified electors are required for the Attorney General to certify the ballot language. After certification, petitions must be signed by 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election to place the amendment on the ballot.
  • Two-thirds of either chamber may vote to call for a constitutional convention. The convention must be approved by voters.
  • In addition, a question is placed on the ballot every 20 years asking voters whether to call a constitutional convention. Such a question will be on the ballot for this year’s general election in November 2012. The last constitutional convention in Ohio was held in 1912, though the Constitution has been amended many times since then through many means.
Additional articles of interest on this topic:

 

 General Assembly Establishes Constitutional Modernization Commission
Group to study Ohio Constitution and recommend changes
Article printed in Statehouse e-news bulletin –  August 2012
State Representative Dennis Murray

This November, Ohioans will decide whether or not to call a constitutional convention to revise our state constitution, an issue that is placed on the ballot every 20years. Though there has not been a constitutional convention called in Ohio since 1912, preparations for potential constitutional changes are never the less underway in the newly formed Constitutional Modernization Commission, a body that was mandated through House Bill 188.

The purpose of the Commission is to consider problems pertaining to current Constitutional amendments and to promote an exchange of suggestions for desired changes. All proposed changes must be approved by two-thirds of the Commission members in order to be presented to the full General Assembly. The General Assembly would then have to pass them by three-fifths majority to place them on the ballot for Ohio voters to approve.

Additionally, if the voters of Ohio exercise their right to call for a constitutional convention, the Commission must report its recommendations about the organization of a convention to the General Assembly. The Commission would then need to report its suggestions about Constitutional amendments to the convention.  Rep. Murray was one of 12 legislators appointed to the Commission.

“The last few years have highlighted Constitutional flaws that transcend party affiliation. I look forward to working with legislators, scholars, and citizens to offer concrete solutions for the people of Ohio,” Rep. Murray said. In order to incorporate into the process as much knowledge and experience as possible, the 12 legislative members will select the remaining 20 members from across the state, including across-section of leaders from different areas such as business, academia, advocacy, and activism. All Commission members serve two-year terms, to which they may be reappointed. The Constitutional Modernization Commission will last for ten years and will dissolve once its work is complete, which will be no later than July 1, 2021. Starting in January, the Commission will meet periodically to begin their reform efforts, and could present its first report to the General Assembly as early as this fall.