Although anything is possible during Lame Duck, it looks like House Joint Resolution 19 is dead for the year. Our efforts have managed to stop this ballot-busting resolution in its tracks.
HJR19 had its sixth and final hearing Wednesday (12/12). Bill Lyons presented excellent opposing testimony in the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, and a couple of other statements against the resolution were entered into the record. There were no questions and no discussion, and, most importantly, NO VOTE.
In all the hearings, 31 individuals and groups presented opposing testimony, and only one group argued in favor of the resolution (and he represented a group that hired paid signature collectors and hasn't done a ballot measure since 2004). Our coalition also presented the Committee with a letter signed by about 90 organizations speaking out against the resolution.
In addition there have been numerous editorials in newspapers across the state speaking out against the ballot-blocking resolution, and none that have come out solidly in favor. Here’s a sampling:
Ohio may make it harder for public to put issues on statewide ballot (Dayton Daily News)
Ohio League of Women Voters among dozens of groups opposing GOP ballot issue changes (Columbus Dispatch)
Note to lawmakers - Ohioans have a constitutional right to propose ballot issues: Thomas Suddes (Cleveland.com)
Amending The Amendment Process: Ohio May Raise Bar For Ballot Issues (WOSU)
Groups coalesce to fight Ohio legislature’s constitutional amendment plan (Cleveland.com)
Although this bad idea is likely to come back again in some form next year, we are thrilled that our joint advocacy and outspokenness against this undemocratic resolution have killed it for now.
Many thanks to the advocates who showed up to present or submitted written testimony to the committee: Kathy Deitsch, Bill Lyons, Sandy Bolzenius, Bill Davis, Mary Nordstrom, Carolyn Harding, Charlotte Owen, Jackie Bird, Melanie Majikas, Michael Ahern, Greg Pace, Deborah Cooper, Emily Lampe, Catherine LaCroix, Heather Tuck-Macalla, Carrie Eickleberry, Valerie Mason, Andrea Yagoda, Barb Fleeter, Sue Dyke, Susan Haas, Maureen Welch, and Denis Osowski. Your efforts made a difference!
Thanks to all for everything you do, and all the best of the season from Fair Districts = Fair Elections.