Election Guide: State Issues

DKS Editors


Issue 1 proposes to amend the Ohio Constitution so that the deadline to submit referendums, legislation and amendments to a ballot would change to 125 days before a general election. Currently, those looking to push an issue on the ballot must submit signatures 90 days in advance. Supporters of this issue argue that, under the current system, there is not enough time to check the validity of these petitions. Under the new rules, they say, voters will not be confused if their votes will count because of invalid issues on the ballot. Opponents of the bill say the measure will make it more difficult to get important issues on the ballot.

– Joe Shearer


There are two main aspects to Issue 2, the Clean Ohio Program, which provides financial support to organizations and local governments working to clean up Ohio’s environment. First, it doesn’t raise taxes, but it does use bonds to pay for programs. These bonds are repaid with money from tobacco taxes as well as Ohio’s general fund. The second aspect of Issue 2 is the preservation of open land as well as the redevelopment of industrial “brownfield” sites , or chemically contaminated and damaged land, into “greenfield” sites, or pure, unsoiled land.

– Sarah Nusinow


Ohio voters will soon decide the outcome of Issue 3.

This issue is called the Ohio Water Compact Constitutional Amendment and it is a follow-up to the recently approved Great Lakes Water Compact, according to an Ohio.com story posted to the Web site Oct. 23.

Sen. Timothy J. Grendell of Ohio’s 18th District spearheaded the water rights issue in the Legislature which Gov. Ted Strickland is supporting, according to Ohio.com.

Grendell said one reason for initiating the amendment is due to a movement to make private water a public resource.

He explained this means the government could easily decide to take control of groundwater or surface water on a person’s private property.

“Courts come and go and judges come and go,” Grendell said. “So it is important for people to vote this law into the Constitution.”

“I don’t think water rights should be left to the judge sitting on the bench,” he said. “Water is a fundamental right. We all need it to live.”


Press Secretary Keith Dailey of Gov. Ted Strickland’s office said if Ohioans vote in favor of Issue 3, the amendment will be “embedded as law into the state Constitution.”

“If surface water crosses your property, you have a right to it by virtue of owning the land,” Dailey said.


“To my knowledge there are no opponents or organized parties to oppose the issue,” Dailey said. “But, if they decide ‘no’ then the people will have spoken.”

– Heather Scarlett


On Nov 4., the result of Issue 5 will determine whether “payday lending” stays the same or changes the way loans are carried out in Ohio.

The bill was passed by the Ohio legislature and signed into law June 2 by the governor. The Substitute House Bill 545 changes the law that regulates how certain lenders in Ohio will operate.

If a majority of Ohio voters approve the House Bill 545, all cash lenders would have to follow these new limitations:

• The maximum loan amount would be $500.

• Borrowers would have at least 30 days to repay the loan.

• The maximum interest rate on all loans would be 28 percent.

If Ohio voters decide against the bill, then cash lenders would continue to operate under the previous law. That law states that the maximum loan is $800, there is no minimum repay period and check cashing lenders would continue to charge rates and fees, resulting in a total charge for a loan that exceeds an equivalent annual percentage rate of 28 percent.


If a voter checks “Yes,” he or she is approving Section 3 of House Bill 545 and wants to change the short-term lending law.


If a voter checks “No,” then he or she does not want anything to change in the current law.

– Heather Vitale


The approval of Issue 6 – or the “My Ohio Now” amendment – would amend the state’s Constitution to allow a privately owned casino in Clinton County.

The casino would be a $600 million, 97-acre resort near Interstate 71 and state Route 73 in Wilmington, located between Cincinnati and Columbus in Clinton County. The casino’s operator would be required to pay taxes of up to 30 percent, which would be distributed to Ohio’s 88 counties.

Proponents for Issue 6 say the casino would add thousands of jobs and more than $200 million in tax revenue for local governments in the state.

“We’re creating one casino with a guaranteed plan,” said Rick Lertzman, co-founder of My Ohio Now. “We will provide 7,000 jobs at the casino, 5,000 jobs around it and bring all 88 of Ohio’s counties 30 percent of our revenue.”

Opponents for Issue 6 say it is filled with loopholes.

“This proposal is a scam for all Ohioans,” said Rob Walgate, vice president of the Ohio Roundtable. Other opponents of Issue 6 include major out-of-state gaming companies, such as Penn National Gaming Inc.

“It’s a bad economic policy, and it will drain more money than it puts in,” Walgate said.


A “Yes” vote allows the casino in Ohio and adds the amendment to the state’s Constitution.


Voting “No” would deny the construction of the casino.

– Tony Lange