Anti-monopoly amendment; protects the initiative process from being used for personal economic benefit

(Proposed by Joint Resolution of the General Assembly) Proposing to amend Section 1e of Article II of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

A YES vote means approval of the constitutional amendment. A NO vote means disapproval of the constitutional amendment. A majority YES vote is required or the amendment to be adopted.

If approved, the proposed amendment will take effect immediately after Election Day.

The proposed amendment would: • Prohibit any petitioner from using the Ohio Constitution to grant a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for their exclusive financial benefit or to establish a preferential tax status. • Prohibit any petitioner from using the Ohio Constitution to grant a commercial interest, right, or license that is not available to similarly situated persons or nonpublic entities. • Require the bipartisan Ohio Ballot Board to determine if a proposed constitutional amendment violates the prohibitions above, and if it does, present two separate ballot questions to voters. Both ballot questions must receive a majority yes vote before the proposed amendment could take effect. • Prohibit from taking effect any proposed constitutional amendment appearing on the November 3, 2015 General Election ballot that creates a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for the sale, distribution, or other use of any federal Schedule I controlled substance. • The Ohio Supreme Court has original, exclusive jurisdiction in any action related to the proposal.

Issue 2 would prohibit an initiative petition amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would give special business rights to a certain person or entity. Specifically, Issue 2 would prohibit an initiative that creates a monopoly, cartel, or oligopoly; specifies or determines a tax rate; or confers a commercial interest, commercial right,or commercial license to any person or entity for the purpose of exclusively enriching its members and prohibiting others from engaging in similar enterprises. If Issue 2 passes, the Ohio Ballot Board will be required to evaluate any proposed initiative petition to determine if it violates the prohibition above by creating a limited commercial interest. If such an initiative is proposed, the Ballot Board will be required to separate the proposed initiative into two parts - one part asking voters to override the limited business interest rule, and the second part describing the proposed new initiative - with both parts needing a majority vote for the intitiative to pass.

If both Issue 2 and Issue 3 are approved by the voters, it is unclear what will happen, because they would create conflicting sections within the state constitution. The Ohio Supreme Court will likely have to resolve the matter if both issues pass.

PRO: 1. Exclusive financial deals for special interests should not be enshrined in our state constitution. 2. The state constitution should be used to protect fundamental rights for all individuals, not cluttered with special interests. 3. Nineteen states have constitutional provisions banning monopolies and protecting free and fair commerce; Ohio should too.

CON: 1  The constitution should not be amended to interfere with the constitutional initiative process and block a measure approved by the voters. 2. The language is too vague and may unintentionally preclude future policy or tax issues from being brought forward as an initiative. 3. Issue 2 gives the Ballot Board too much discretion to declare a proposed initiative to be a monopoly and force it to jump through two hurdles instead of one.

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters has compiled information for each of the issues that Heights voters will be voting on in November.

For your information:

  • The title listed for each issue is the official title assigned by the Ohio Ballot Board.
  • Summaries of each issue immediately following the official ballot wording originated from material issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections or, in the case of Issue 53, citations from the resolution submitted to the Cuyahoga Board of Elections by the Cleveland Heights City Council. 
  • LEAGUE PLAINSPEAK summaries of the state and county ballot issues were prepared by members of the League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund and The League of Women Voters - Cuyahoga County.
  • The pros and cons listed for each issue are abbreviated versions of the arguments put forward by the respective issue campaigns.

The League of Women Voters is a national non-partisan organization that supports or opposes issues it studies, but does not endorse candidates.

To view LWV positions on current issues, visit

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:35 AM, 10.01.2015