By Frank Lewis
Nearly everyone who even remotely follows the political scene has an opinion on term limitations, but you soon may even have a vote on the issue.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has submitted to the Secretary of State’s office, his certification of the citizen-initiated Strengthen Term Limits Amendment. In a letter to Secretary of State Jon Husted, DeWine called the summary for the proposed amendment a “fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”
Eight is Enough Ohio turned in 1,742 signatures on August 31 to obtain certification for the proposal, which will limit State House and Senate members to no more than eight lifetime years in one chamber, and no more than 12 lifetime years in the legislature.
Eight is Enough Chairman Ray Warrick hailed DeWine’s decision as “a victory for term limits supporters throughout Ohio,” who will now wait for their amendment to receive a final stamp of approval from the state Ballot Board. According to Warrick, the actions of Ohio’s Constitutional Modernization Commission will be what drive his group to move forward.
“Polls show 7 in 10 voters oppose the Commission’s scheme to lengthen term limits,” Warrick said. “If the Commission continues to neglect the people’s will, which can only be done with misleading ballot language, Eight is Enough stands ready to put stronger term limits on the ballot.”
The amendment, which was written by the 1851 Center’s Maurice Thompson, would not only create a lifetime limit but also close the loophole that doesn’t count appointed terms against term limits. Its certification comes just two days before the Constitutional Modernization Commission is set to meet, although term limits will not be on the group’s agenda.
According to the most recent Akron Buckeye Poll, Ohio voters agree with Eight is Enough that shorter term limits are preferable to longer ones. 70 percent of voters told the poll that term limits should be kept at eight years rather than lengthened. However, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, set up by the legislature, is pushing a proposal to weaken the term limits by 50 percent.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.