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Craig Condemns Passage of S.J.R. 2 and S.B. 92

April 19, 2023
Hearcel F. Craig News

Today, state Senator Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) issued a statement after the Ohio Senate voted along party lines to pass Senate Joint Resolution 2 and Senate Bill 92. S.J.R. 2 would raise the threshold for Ohioans to pass constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%, while S.B. 92 would allow for August special elections when a proposed constitutional amendment is on the ballot.

“With the many urgent needs of our state, we could find a better way to spend a projected $20 million dollars than an August special election,” said Senator Craig. “Ballot amendments are a way for the public to make change regarding critical issues of concern. S.J.R. 2 and S.B. 92 are a transparent attempt to undermine the will of the people and will have a deleterious impact on the electoral process. I am incredibly disappointed in this body as this legislation intends to subvert the Ohio Constitution and the voices of voters.”

This legislation would undermine ballot issues that are likely to be supported by a majority of Ohioans, such as protecting reproductive rights (59%), creating an independent citizens’ redistricting commission to stop partisan gerrymandering (56%), increasing the minimum wage (60%), or fully legalizing marijuana (58%).

During the 134th General Assembly, the Republican-controlled legislature passed House Bill 458, which eliminated August special elections under almost all circumstances. S.B. 92 would reauthorize special elections, immediately resulting in a costly and unnecessary $20 million August 8 special election.

Now that a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment to codify abortion access in Ohio is likely to be on the ballot this November, Republicans are trying to make it more difficult for voters to amend Ohio’s constitution this August.

S.J.R. 2 and S.B. 92 both have companion legislation in the House, H.J.R. 1 and H.B. 144, and now head to the House for consideration.