Thursday, August 07, 2008

Two initiatives submit signatures for November ballot

According to Ballotpedia, the so-called Healthy Families Act (better known as Sick Days Ohio) and the Casino Act ('myOhionow' from the commercials) both submitted enough signatures by the filing deadline of August 6.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has until September 25 to certify the ballot signatures. If supporters have fallen short, they have 10 more days to gather additional signatures. It is expected that the initiatives will have enough valid signatures to put them on the fall ballot.

If certified, they will join three other state-wide issues: Water Compact which creates a constitutional amendment protecting property rights along the with passage of the Great Lakes Water Compact; Clean Ohio Fund, which authorizes the state to borrow $400 million for environmental conservation, preservation and revitalization purposes; and the Initiatives Deadline Act which changes the deadline for submitting signatures on initiatives from 90 days pre-election to 125 days pre-election.

The Payday Loan veto referendum, to stop the legislation that put a cap on Payday Loan interest rates, is still awaiting ballot language approval.

For more information on the initiatives, I highly recommend Ballotpedia's balanced descriptions:

Healthy Families Act
Casino Act - My Ohio Now
Ohio Water Compact Amendment
Clean Ohio Fund Act
Initiatives Deadline Act
Ohio Payday Loan Referendum


Tim Higgins said...


So now the battle truly begins. The "Healthy Families Act" (Unhealthy Business Act) if passed, will begin a new age in Ohio. This 'Typhoid Mary' of legislation will spread like a plague, killing some businesses while weakening other to the edge of discorporation. Like the Black Death of the Middle Ages, the rats of government will spread their poison, and the corpses will pile up. (Can you say, "Bring out your dead?")

Those businesses who survive the intial onslaught will flee, and the rest of the country will put us under Quarantine. We can likewise be assured that no new business will approach while the black flag flies over Ohio.

Kadim said...

The one that irritates me the most (funny enough) is the Initiatives Deadline Act. I found myself furious that the legislature opted to amend the state constitution to solve what really is a simple administrative issue.

Maggie Thurber said...


I did not check to see if our constitution has specific deadlines that could only be addressed by such an amendment.

I do know that one reason for the change was to allow the various boards of elections sufficient time to verify signatures in time to get measures approved and then on the absentee ballots...

Kadim said...

The state constitution does have the deadline hard-coded.

My solution was to change Ohio law...which requires that all the signatures for an initiative be turned in simultaneously.

That's a terrible waste for everyone...right now you could have hundreds of thousands of signatures waiting in a warehouse for months instead of being verified because Ohio law requires a simultaneous turn in. It also means that, when the turn in day hits, whether it's 90 days or 120 days, the boards of elections get bombarded and have to employ temporary workers (particularly in the big counties) to perform the verifications.

If Ohio law had been changed to stream in the signatures, then the majority of signatures would be verified way before 120 days. The work load on the boards of elections would be more stable, and the petition companies would not be warehousing signatures and collecting too many signatures unnecessarily (since turn-in-as-you-go allows for instantaneous updates.)

Alas, the bill really didn't get any hearings here in Columbus and was rushed to the ballot.

Maggie Thurber said...

Kadim - that's a great idea.

It would also make it easier for people gathering signatures because they'd know exactly how many valid ones they already have - and they wouldn't then need the additional 10 days if they didn't get the necessary number.

Too bad this idea didn't get the proper consideration...

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