WYSO

Battle Brewing Over State Constitutional Amendment Process

As lawmakers talk about changing the process by which groups with economic interests in changing the constitution can bring amendments to voters, one of those groups is planning another amendment that hits back at those legislators.

The ResponsibleOhio amendment would legalize marijuana in Ohio and specify ten growing sites. Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, both Republicans, say they want to make it harder for groups to put before voters amendments which have a benefit for them.

ResponsibleOhio’s Ian James says he’s now preparing another amendment for next year’s ballot – aimed at lawmakers. 

“Legislators should be paid the same as part-time workers,” James said. "There’s going to be no perks for part time, because this amendment will strip legislators of full-time pay and perks like health care and pensions.” 

And James says the amendment would also force state lawmakers who are term limited to leave office for three years before running for another legislative office. He says the petition drive will launch next week.