League opposes ballot issues on casinos, livestock board
Wednesday, Sep. 16, 2009
The League of Women Voters of Ohio opposes Issues 2 and 3 on the Nov. 3 ballot, and takes a neutral position on Issue 1.
- Issue 1: The League of Women Voters remains neutral on the proposed constitutional amendment to authorize the state to issue bonds to provide compensation to veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts.
- Issue 2: The League of Women Voters opposes the proposed constitutional amendment to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.
- Issue 3: The League of Women Voters opposes the proposed constitutional amendment to authorize casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo.
In analyzing proposed constitutional amendments, the League begins with consideration of whether the proposed constitutional amendments properly belong in the Ohio Constitution or more properly should be legislated by the General Assembly.
The League does not believe the Constitution should be littered with Post-It Notes. Rather, the League's position on the state Constitution, adopted in 1968, is that “a constitution should be a clearly stated body of fundamental principles. It should provide for the flexible operation of government and be logically organized and internally consistent.”
Passage of Issue 1 would amend the Ohio Constitution to provide additional compensation to veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts. Bonding authority that lasts longer than two years, as in the proposed amendment, must be set forth in the Constitution. However, the League has no position under which to take action on the issue of providing additional compensation to veterans. Therefore, the League's board of directors voted to take a neutral stance.
Passage of Issue 2 would amend the Ohio Constitution to create the Ohio Livestock Standards Board. The League voted to oppose passage of this issue because the amendment contains too much specificity to be in the Ohio Constitution. The League’s opposition is based on its state position that the Ohio Constitution should be a clearly stated body of fundamental principles.
Passage of Issue 3 would authorize casinos in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo. The League's board voted to oppose passage of Issue 3 for the same reason it opposes Issue 2; the proposed casino amendment contains too much specificity to be included in the Ohio Constitution. In addition, Issue 3 violates the state League’s position that the legislature have flexibility in financing state programs, because the amendment directs how the tax revenues will be allocated.
The League's position on "State Government Finance," adopted in 1989, supports tax principles that are fair and equitable and that provide adequate resources for government programs while allowing flexibility for financing future program changes.
The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus, meanwhile, endorsed Issue 4, the Franklin County Children Services levy.