Ohio seeks to raise threshold for ballot initiatives and prevent lobbyists and outside interests from controlling the state
By Arsenio Toledo // Aug 04, 2023

All eyes are turning to Ohio as the state prepares to vote on a ballot measure to raise the threshold for future ballot initiatives. Supporters of the initiative claim raising the threshold is necessary to prevent out-of-state lobbyists and interests from dictating to the state's residents.

Jennifer Gross, a Republican member of the Ohio House of Representatives, warned that this is what is currently happening in the state. In an interview with Michelle and Leah Svenssen of the "Resistance Chicks," Gross pointed out how very few pieces of legislation that actually passed by the Ohio General Assembly are written by the state representatives and senators themselves.

She noted how being in the halls of power in the state capitol at Columbus changes elected officials. Whenever an official passes a bill, Gross noted that "chances are – and most of the time – they didn't write it" and it's actually the lobbyists who provide the language of the bill.

Gross noted that Issue 1 could solve this. This measure would raise the threshold for future ballot initiatives from a simple majority – or 50 percent plus one of the votes – to 60 percent of the vote.

"That's a solid majority," said Gross, noting that because current state law dictates that only a simple majority is required is why "it's easy to get stuff into our constitution."

"That's why our constitution is eight times the size of the federal constitution and we have 172 changes in the Ohio version, even though it's 80 years younger than the federal constitution, which only has 27 changes," she added.

Issue 1's passage could help prevent abortion from being codified in Ohio's state constitution

The push to pass Issue 1 is being seen by Democrats and other left-wing activists as an anti-democratic measure by Republicans in the state to effectively block an upcoming ballot initiative to codify the right to an abortion in the state constitution this November. (Related: Ohio voters to decide on making abortion a right in the state's constitution in November.)

Issue 1 opposition coalition One Person One Vote claims the rushed effort to push through this referendum during an off-year election – when voters are less likely to cast their ballots – is intended to prevent the passage of policies that the group claims are popular with a majority of average Ohioans but opposed by state officials.

The coalition further points out that since the landmark decision overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to decide their own abortion laws, amendments protecting access to abortion in other states have passed but generally with less than 60 percent of the vote.

But proponents of the measure like Gross and grassroots organizations like the Protect Our Constitution coalition argue that the increased percentage should be enough to keep "deep-pocketed interest groups" from pushing unwanted policies on Ohioans like legal abortion, gun control, raising the minimum wage and anti-farmer legislation.

Proponents of Issue 1 further note that raising the threshold to a solid majority of 60 percent would be in keeping with many other states. Gross noted that Ohio is just one of around a dozen other states that provide residents with the ability to change their constitution with a simple majority.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican who is running for the Senate, even noted that raising the threshold would be in keeping with the nation's Constitution.

"The founders of our nation wisely put in place a 75 percent threshold for states to ratify constitutional amendments," said LaRose. "I do know that to change the founding document of our state, you should build in a broader consensus – young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural, Republican and Democrat. And to get to that 60 percent, you have to do that."

Gross further noted that in 2018, raising the threshold for constitutional amendments "was a bipartisan bill." But now that abortion is the issue, Democrats are suddenly up in arms and rallying Ohioans to vote against Issue 1.

"So, Democrats and Republicans wanted this in 2018… What changed?" asked Gross. "I'll tell you what changed. They want to codify and legalize abortion and … they want to take away parental consent in Ohio through 40 weeks, that'll bring it just in line with California, New York and Colorado, where abortion is unlimited."

Learn the latest news regarding abortion legislation in the United States at Abortions.news.

Watch this episode of the "Resistance Chicks" featuring Michelle and Leah Svenssen's full interview with Ohio State Rep. Jennifer Gross.

This video is from the Resistance Chicks channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Abortions in Illinois surge 54% as neighboring states enact pro-life legislation.

North Carolina Republicans OVERRIDE Dem Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of bill restricting abortion after 12 weeks.

Washington state spends millions of taxpayer dollars buying three-year supply of abortion pills.

Radical group Jane's Revenge attacks, vandalizes Ohio pregnancy center.

Oregon to become sanctuary state for children to get abortions, sex changes without parental consent.

Sources include:

Brighteon.com

Politico.com

WKYC.com



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