Below is information on the ballot issues proposed for the Ohio statewide November 2008 ballot.

Issue 1 – Petition Deadlines

Constitutional Amendment

Qualified to the Ballot

In June 2008, the Ohio General Assembly approved House Joint Resolution 3 - a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution to change the filing deadlines for future statewide ballot initiatives. If approved, HJR 3, or Issue I, as the initiative will appear on the November 4, 2008 ballot, will require individuals or groups seeking to file constitutional amendments, initiated statutes, or referendums to file such petitions not later than 125 days before an election.

Currently, petitions for such issues must be filed not later than 90 days before an election for constitutional amendments and initiated statutes and not later than 60 days before an election.

The Ohio Ballot Board, on August 7 prescribed the official language to be voted on at the November 2008 election, the official explanation of the measure for Ohio voters, and the arguments supporting and opposing Issue I.

If Issue I is approved, it will go into effect immediately.

Full text of House Joint Resolution 3

Official Ballot Language Issue 1

Ohio Ballot Board Official Explanation of Issue 1

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments in Favor of Issue 1

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments Against Issue 1

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Issue 2 – “Clean Ohio” Bond Program

Constitutional Amendment

Qualified to the Ballot 

At the request of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, the Ohio General Assembly has placed HJR 5, better known as the “Clean Ohio” program for environmental conservation and revitalization on the November 4, 2008 general election ballot. Clean Ohio, which will be Issue II on the November 2008 ballot, is a $400 million bonds program that will permit the State of Ohio to use such funds for conservation and environmental revitalization efforts. The preservation and conservation of farmland, park and recreation areas, forest, water, and natural resources are among those areas potentially covered under the Clean Ohio program. Clean Ohio would also permit funds raised to be used for urban revitalization and environmental clean up efforts in urban areas.

The Ohio Ballot Board recently approved the official ballot language to be used November 4, 2008, the official explanation of the measure for Ohio voters, as well as the formal arguments for and against the Clean Ohio initiative.

Issue II - Clean Ohio - will become effective immediately if approved by Ohio voters.

Full text of House Joint Resolution 5

Official Ballot Language of Proposed Constitutional Amendment Issue 2

Ohio Ballot Board Official Explanation of Issue 2

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments in Favor of Issue 2

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments Against Issue 2

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Issue 3 – Water & Private Property Protection

Constitutional Amendment

Qualified to the Ballot

The Ohio General Assembly earlier in 2008 passed Amended Substitute Joint Senate Resolution 8. This resolution places a Constitutional Amendment on the November 4, 2008 to provide private property protections for landowners for the water under or flowing through that landowner’s land. State Issue 3 vests private property owners and Ohio municipalities and political subdivisions with certain property rights to groundwater and nonnavigable waterways situated on and/or under that private property owner's land subject to certain limitations.

The Ohio Ballot Board recently approved the formal ballot language, the formal ballot explanation, as well as the official arguments for Issue 3 and against Issue 3. If Issue 3 is approved by Ohio voters, the Constitutional Amendment will become immediately effective.

Full text of Joint Senate Resolution 8

Official Ballot Language of Issue 3

Ohio Ballot Board Official Explanation of Issue 3

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments in Favor of Issue 3

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments Against Issue 3

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Issue 4 – Healthy Families Act (Mandatory Sick Days)

Initiated Statute

Issue 4 was removed from the ballot by the petitioners pursuant to R.C. 3519.08 on September 4, 2008 and will not appear on the ballot.

Read more . . . . .

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Issue 5 – Payday Lending Reforms

Referendum

***Issue 5 Not Certified to Ballot Pending Final Signature Review*** 

The Ohio General Assembly, with support of Governor Ted Strickland, recently passed Substitute House Bill 545. The law, enacted in June 2008, makes various changes to Ohio’s Check Cashing Lending Laws, commonly known as “payday lending”. The new law caps interest and fees on typical, 30-day loans to 28 percent, down from 391 percent under the prior law, and caps the amount that could be borrowed at $500, down from $800 under the prior law. If the referendum under Issue 5 is successful (accomplished in this instance by a “No” vote on the legislation), the changes to Ohio’s “payday lending” laws would be overturned. 

The Ohio Ballot Board, in August 2008, prepared and finalized the formal ballot language, as well as arguments for Issue 5 and against Issue 5.

State Issue 5, the Payday Lending Referendum, is not yet formally certified to the 2008 ballot. Issue 5 is pending signature validation by Ohio county boards of elections to ensure sufficient valid signatures exist for its placement on the ballot and final certification by the Secretary of State's Office. Final certification or rejection for failure to meet Ohio's requirements for statewide ballot issues is expected in September 2008.

Ohio Sub. H.B. 545

Ohio Legislative Service Commission analysis of Sub. H.B. 545

Official Ballot Language Issue 5

Ohio Ballot Board Explanation of Issue 5

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments in Favor of Issue 5

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments Against Issue 5

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Issue 6 – Casino Gambling/Clinton County Ohio

Constitutional Amendment

***Issue 6 Not Certified to Ballot Pending Final Signature Review*** 

State Issue 6, if approved, would authorized one privately owned gambling casino to be built and operated in Clinton County, Ohio. The operators of the casino propose that the casino would be built on a 94-acre site outside Wilmington, Ohio, requiring an initial investment of at least $600 million. Taxes of up to 30 percent of the casino’s gross revenue, less gambling payouts, will be collected and distributed proportionately, based on population, to each of Ohio’s 88 counties for the county’s unrestricted use.

The Ohio Ballot Board, in August 2008, prepared and finalized the formal ballot language for Issue 6, as well as arguments for the proposed casino gambling initiative and against casino gambling.

State Issue 6, the casino gambling Constitutional Amendment, has not yet formally certified to the 2008 ballot. Issue 6 is pending signature validation by Ohio's county boards of elections to ensure sufficient valid signatures exist for its placement on the 2008 ballot and final certification by the Secretary of State's Office. Final certification or rejection of Issue 6, for failure to meet Ohio's requirements for statewide ballot issues, is expected in September 2008.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Issue 6

Official Ballot Language Issue 6

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments in Favor of Issue 6

Ohio Ballot Board Arguments Against Issue 6