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Antonio Objects to Amended House Bill 114

May 8, 2024
Nickie J. Antonio News

Today, Senate Democratic Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) voted no on House Bill 114, which initially aimed to permit campaign funds to be used for childcare expenses, but was amended to include language that would make it harder for citizens to access the statewide ballot initiative. 

“We can all agree we don’t want foreign money influencing our elections – but that’s not what this bill is about. Unfortunately, we are once again voting on legislation that makes it harder for Ohioans to have their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Antonio. “When the legislature is out of step with Ohioans, the people take things into their own hands through ballot initiatives. This bill is an attempt to quash the voice of the voters who are winning at the ballot box, not here in the Statehouse.”

House Bill 114, as passed by the House, was originally intended to permit candidates for state or local office to utilize campaign funds for child care. As passed by the Senate, H.B. 114 would impact local ballot issues like proposed liquor law changes, zoning changes, or even a citizen-led initiative to install a stop sign at a dangerous intersection. While the bill would prohibit candidates and ballot issue campaigns from knowingly receiving foreign contributions, the provision would be unenforceable without federal action to prohibit anyone or any group in any state from accepting foreign contributions.

Amended House Bill 114 now awaits a concurrence vote in the House.