Home Politics New term limits law inches closer to ballot

New term limits law inches closer to ballot

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An organization has crossed the beginning hurdle in an effort to limit terms in the Ohio Legislature, after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine certified a petition that would limit the number of years a person could serve in the Ohio Legislature to 12.

Eight is Enough, a new organization that supports this position, created the petition that now has over 1,000 signatures.

Currently, based on term limits voted into law in 1992, state representatives are limited to four two-year terms and senators to two four-year terms. The proposed amendment would maintain these term limits but add a 12-year limit for overall time in the Genral Assembly. Ohio is one of 15 states to have term limits.

Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, opposes the idea of term limits because he believes it is an infringement on people’s rights.

“We oppose mandatory term limits as an infringement on the right and ability of voters to vote for candidates of their choice and of candidates to qualify for and compete on the ballot,” Daniels said.

Nick Tomboulides, executive director of U.S. Term Limits, believes term limits should stay the same because they are what Ohioans want.

He also said the Constitutional Modernization Commission, an organization expected to promote changes and make recommendations for the Ohio General Assembly for the amendment of the Constitution, is ineffective.

“Seven in 10 Ohio voters say the current term limits should stay in place, but the General Assembly refuses to listen,” Tomboulides said. “The General Assembly created the Constitutional Modernization Commission. It is basically a puppet organization that allows legislators to avoid responsibility for gutting term limits. They can simply say ‘Oh, it’s what the Commission wanted.’ Problem is, the Commission is appointed by legislators, so it has zero independence.”

Tomboulides believes it is necessary to support the opinions of Ohio voters.

“U.S. Term Limits will continue to do everything we can to support Ohio citizens as they stand up to the aspiring career politicians and lobbyists trying to weaken term limits,” Tomboulides said.

The petition will go to the Ohio Ballot Board, where it will be reviewed to determine if it is a single issue and if any information is missing. If passed, it will need 300,000 signatures in order to appear on the November 2016 ballot.

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