Issues > Statewide Issues – Know the issues before you sign a petition and vote!

Know the statewide issues before you sign a petition and vote!

Every day Ohioans are becoming more actively involved in taking new laws passed by the Republican-controlled Ohio House and Senate to the people for our voice and vote at the ballot, as we saw this with the SB5/Issue 2 Referendum that was resoundingly defeated by the people of Ohio in November 2010!

As 2016 comes to an end, there may be a petition coming to your door, available at your post office or local public event for you to consider whether you would like to affix your signature to the petition.  There are several petitions  circulating already for the November 2017 ballot — please review specific topics below for links and more information.


PETITION PROCESS

INITIAL STEP

Petitioners may begin the initiative process by forming a committee, drafting their initiative and summary, and collecting at least 1,000 signatures of registered voters. (This process is outlined in greater detail in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3519: INITIATIVE; REFERENDUM; as well as the Secretary of State's website - Legislation & Ballot Issues.) Once petitioners meet the signature requirement, they must submit all materials to the Attorney General's Office. The office works on two tracks, simultaneously working with boards of election to get signatures verified and evaluating the submitted summary to determine whether it is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed initiative.

PETITION GATHERING

  • Volunteers or paid petition circulators gather signatures
  • Ohio's Secretary of State validates signatures - petitions sent to counties where signatures collected for verification
  • May continue to collect additional signatures while validation occurs (HB194 stayed this)

A SIGNATURE ON A PETITION IS CONSIDERED VALID IF

  • the signer is a registered Ohio voter - the person may register to vote or complete a name/address change form and sign a petition at the same time;
  • the signer's name and address is same as what is on file at the Board of Elections;
  • the signer has signed his/her own name - other information required may be completed by the signature collector; family members cannot sign for other family members (i.e. wives for husbands, parents for of-age children)
  • the signer signs the petition designated for his/her county
  • the date is correct when signature was collected

Here is a brief description of the types of issues campaigns permitted under Ohio law via citizens actions:

1.  Referendum

  • A referendum is a process to stay a law recently enacted by the general assembly and signed into law by the Governor until the law itself can be submitted to the voters for approval or rejection at a general election.  Matters not subject to referendum are (1) laws providing for tax levies, (2) appropriations for the current expenses of the state government and state institutions, and (3) emergency laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety. Ohio Constitution Article II, Section 1d.
  • The Governor’s Race Percentage Chart, which outlines the number of signatures needed for statewide ballot issue, has been updated and is now available online here. These numbers are based on turnout in the most recent gubernatorial election - November 2014.
  • Required to collect the valid signatures in at least 44 out of the 88 Ohio counties (3%  of voters who cast ballots for the office of governor in that county in the last Gubernatorial election).  The Governor’s Race Percentage Chart, which outlines the number of signatures needed for statewide ballot issue, has been updated and is now available online here. These numbers are based on turnout in the most recent gubernatorial election - November 2014.
  • For more details:  Ohio Secretary of State's website:  Putting an Issue on the Ballot

 2.  Initiated - Constitutional Amendment

  • If a citizen feels that an issue he or she feels strongly about is not addressed properly (or at all) in the Ohio Constitution, they can follow the procedures outlined in the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code (below) to submit a proposed constitutional amendment to the people of Ohio for a statewide vote.
  • The Governor’s Race Percentage Chart, which outlines the number of signatures needed for statewide ballot issue, has been updated and is now available online here. These numbers are based on turnout in the most recent gubernatorial election - November 2014.
  • Required to collect valid signatures in at least 44 out of the 88 Ohio counties (5% of voters who cast ballots for the office of governor in that county in the last Gubernatorial election).  The Governor’s Race Percentage Chart, which outlines the number of signatures needed for statewide ballot issue, has been updated and is now available online here. These numbers are based on turnout in the most recent gubernatorial election - November 2014.
  • For more details:  Ohio Secretary of State's website:  Putting an Issue on the Ballot

 3.  Initiated Statute

  • If a citizen feels that an issue s/he feels strongly about is not addressed properly (or at all) in the Ohio Revised Code, s/he can follow the procedures outlined in the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code to submit a proposed law (statute) to the people of Ohio for a statewide vote
  • Required to collect valid signatures statewide TWICE if legislature doesn’t act when initial valid signatures are submitted.  The Governor’s Race Percentage Chart, which outlines the number of signatures needed for statewide ballot issue, has been updated and is now available online here. These numbers are based on turnout in the most recent gubernatorial election - November 2014.
  • Required to collect the valid signatures in at least 44 out of the 88 Ohio counties (1.5% of voters who cast ballots for the office of governor in that county in the last Gubernatorial election).  The Governor’s Race Percentage Chart, which outlines the number of signatures needed for statewide ballot issue, has been updated and is now available online here. These numbers are based on turnout in the most recent gubernatorial election - November 2014.
  • For more details:  Ohio Secretary of State's website:  Putting an Issue on the Ballot 

Information above provided in part by ProgressOhio, Brian Rothenberg, Executive Director, and
Ohio Secretary of State's Office website -  Legislation & Ballot Issues

NOTE:
This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as a sole source of information. 
Persons must comply with all applicable sections of the Ohio Constitution and the Ohio Revised Code. 
Persons interested in exercising any of the above citizens options are encouraged to consult legal counsel.

Ballot Board Members and Pending/Withdrawn Ballot Issues for 2016

The Ohio Ballot Board prescribes and certifies the ballot language for proposed Constitutional amendments, initiatives, and referenda and oversees efforts to inform voters of proposed ballot issues. The Secretary of State chairs the five member board and the office of the Secretary of State provides professional, technical, and clerical support for the Board.

Several requirements must be met before a proposed statewide issue can be placed on the ballot. Those procedures can be found here. The Ohio Ballot Board's role in the process is first to determine whether the petition language contains a single issue and secondly, to prescribe the official ballot language and any missing arguments for each statewide issue.

Ohio Ballot Board Members

The Honorable Jon Husted, Chairperson
Ohio Secretary of State
180 East Broad Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

The Honorable Bill Coley
Ohio Senate
1 Capitol Square, 1st Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Ballot Board Term ends December 31, 2016

The Honorable Kathleen Clyde
77 S. High St., 10th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Ballot Board Term ends February 6, 2017

William N. Morgan
8740 Stoutsville Pike
Stoutsville, Ohio 43154
Ballot Board Term ends February 6, 2017

The Honorable Michael J. Skindell
Ohio Senate
1 Capitol Square, Ground Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Ballot Board Term ends February 4, 2019

 

Pending Statewide Ballot Issues

Updated as of December 15, 2016

Constitutional Amendment – Citizen-Initiated

Ohio Cannabis Rights Proposed Constitutional Amendment II

Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Constitutional Amendment

Ethics First Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Clean Energy Proposed Constitutional Amendment V

Clean Energy Proposed Constitutional Amendment IV

Ohio Fair Wage Amendment

Strengthening Term Limits on State Legislators

Cannabis Control Amendment

Legalize Marijuana and Hemp in Ohio

Ohio Cannabis Rights Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Voter Bill of Rights Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Freedom To Marry Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Bottle Bill for Ohio

Marriage Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Clean Energy Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Clean Energy Proposed Constitutional Amendment II

Clean Energy Proposed Constitutional Amendment III

Workplace Freedom Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Ohio Medical Cannabis Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Personhood Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Ohio Alternative Medical Treatment Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Initiated Statute

Ohio Drug Price Relief Act

Referendum

House Bill 7

 

Withdrawn Statewide Ballot Issues

Initiated Statute

Access to Healthcare

Fresh Start Act

Right To Work .... For Less - What 'Right To Work' REALLY means

Nothing in the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.  

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Remember HB5?

12.01.15 - Tell the GOP in Columbus to stop wasting time and 
start working on supporting the people of Ohio who have decent wages, safe working conditions and benefits thanks to UNIONS.
 
The quality of life here in Ohio has been such that even if you do not work directly for a UNION you benefitted, because your employer had to treat you reasonably or you would leave them and go work for a UNION Shop.
 
Call the two republicans pushing HB377.  Tell them you will fight them every step of the way.  You will remember their names when election time rolls around.
 
Here are their names and telephone numbers:
Representative Kristina Roegner (R) 614-466-1177 
Representative Ron Maag (R) 614-644-6023
 
Start your day by making a difference, PLEASE.  And make Kristina's and Ron's day along the way!  THANK YOU!


RIGHT TO WORK IS WRONG
GOP State House Reps push for legislation...again

11.25.15 - While we are looking forward to spending time with our loved ones this Thanksgiving week, Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives announced yesterday they will hold a hearing next Tuesday, Dec. 1 on Right To Work is Wrong (House Bill 377).

They thought they would catch us off guard, but sisters and brothers, they are dead wrong. We have spent the last two weeks fighting off the extreme attacks on unemployment benefits for working people (House Bill 374), and we will make sure they know next week they cannot slip HB 377, Right To Work Is Wrong, under the radar.

If you can join us next Tuesday at 2:00 PM at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, please RSVP to Matt Smith, Ohio AFL-CIO Legislative Director.

 

 Link to Ohio's Secretary of State for specific language

Freedom to choose whether to participate in a labor organization
Initiative Petition (PDF)
1/23/2012Constitutional AmendmentAdds Article I, Section 22Certified Feb. 1, 2012
AG Action (PDF)

 

Visit Ohio Legislature:  Workers' and Unions' Issues for more information.

Right To Work for less intent is very misunderstood.
It is necessary for all of us to know what the consequences of this legislation will be.
It is just like Issue 2/SB5 - it will take away the rights of all Unionists, not just public sector.


What is Right-to-Work?
These statutes are authorized by Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act and allow states to outlaw union shops which require all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after hire.

Right to Work laws are designed to financially cripple the union movement.
Federal law requires unions to represent nonmembers.  For example, if a nonunion worker is fired illegally, the union must finance the expensive legal proceedings to defend him/her.  Right to Work laws allow workers to enjoy a union's services without paying dues that cover the costs of union negotiations, contract administration and other union-provided job services.

Right to Work laws decrease wages for everyone.
Because workers' organizing rights are diminished in states with Right to Work laws, an average worker earns about $7.131 a year less than workers in free bargaining states ($30,656 versus $37,787).  Across the nation, union members earn $9,308 a year more than nonunion members ($41,652 versus $32,344).  Clearly, these laws only provide a right to work for less.

Right to Work laws especially harm people of color.
People of color generally benefit the most from union membership.  On average, Hispanic union members earn 50% ($224) more each week than nonunion Hispanics; African-Americans earn 31% ($156) more each week if they are union members.

Right to Work states have more poverty, higher infant mortality rates and poorer schools.
Right to Work states have a poverty rate of 13.5%, compared with 12.2% in free bargaining states.  The infant mortality rate is 7.94% higher and the uninsured population rate is 15% higher on average in Right to Work states.  And Right-to-Work states spend on average $1,680 less per pupil in elementary and secondary schools.  The lack of spending results in lower teacher salaries and student test scores - average teacher salaries are $6,943 lower and composite ACT scores are 3.55% lower in Right to Work states.

Right to Work laws endanger workers' physical security.
A union weakened by Right-to-Work laws has less power to act as a force for safer working conditions.  More workplace deaths and injuries occur in states with Right to Work laws.  According to calculations from Bureau of Labor statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 41% higher in states with Right to Work laws.  And injured workers in those states have fewer benefits to help them recover physically and financially.  In 1996, workers compensation benefits were 50% lower in Right to Work states than in free bargaining states.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
In our glorious fight for civil rights,
we must guard against being fooled by false slogans as 'right-to-work.'
It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.'

Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining....
We demand this fraud be stopped.


WHAT WILL 'RIGHT TO WORK' for less LAWS DO?

  • Allows more government interference with freedoms of private businesses by restricting their right to negotiate with their employees.
  • Takes away ability to negotiate fair contracts between employers and employees elected representatives.
  • Takes away collective bargaining rights by employees elected representatives who bargain in the best interests on behalf of all employees.
  • Gives politicians the final say and too much power on important issues - i.e. staffing, safety equipment, training.
  • Allows employees who don't pay dues to receive same benefits as those employees who do pay dues.
  • Tilts the balance even more toward big corporations by taking away the voices of every day workers - i.e. police, firefighters, teachers, nurses - to have a collective voice within their workplace.

 

Does this sound all too familiar?

It should.

'Right To Work' for less is Issue 2/SB 5 in disguise.

The attack on middle class workers and their families continues.

 

WHO IS BEHIND 'RIGHT TO WORK' for less LEGISLATION?

  • ALEC - American Legislative Exchange Council -- a group that believes in limited government, free markets and federalism which equates to shipping jobs overseas to a country with the cheapest labor costs and the least (if any) environmental and worker protections.
  • Corporate super PACs that have unlimited funds from anonymous donors - $44 million was spent by such PACs in Wisconsin over governor's recall.
  • Wealthy special interests who give millions in campaign contributions - i.e. Koch Brothers, two billionaire brothers who have given millions to Wisconsin's Governor and other like-minded governors.
  • Ohio Governor John Kasich who attacks Ohio's workers with legislation such as Issue 2/SB 5 and supports changes to workers compensation laws that will hurt injured and sick workers.
  • Those supporting 'Right To Work' legislation are - once again - framing their argument in terms of "taxpayers versus unions" and talking about the "balance" between the two.

 

Just like Issue 2/SB 5, 'Right To Work' for less is another extreme policy
legislators are attempting to pass into law.

 

Don't be fooled by what three simple words say:  'Right To Work'.

You already have a right to work!
Don't make your right to work a right to work for less!

 

Click on articles below for more information on this issue:

 Notre Dame Profs Dismantle Indiana Study Committee's “Report”
in favor of  'Right To Work'

University of Notre Dame, Professors Barbara Fick and Marty Wolfson

The compensation penalty of “right-to-work” laws
Economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz

 

Watch this video featuring some of Ohio's firefighters, teachers, and cops,
and hear why they think Mitt Romney's anti-worker agenda
is wrong for our state.