Feed on

For those of you who missed Dean Emeritus Steven H. Steinglass‘s talk yesterday, The History and Future of the Ohio Constitution, here is the video.  In addition to a look at the history of the Ohio Constitution from pre-Statehood to the present, Professor Steinglass discussed some of the current issues before the Ohio Constitution Modernization Commission, of which he is the Senior Policy Adviser.  These issues include:

  • cleaning up obsolete language, such as the State debt limitation of $750,000;
  • increasing term limits for Ohio legislators and
  • changing the initiative and referendum procedures by which the Constitution can be amended.

Concerning initiatives to change the Ohio Constitution by individuals (not by the General Assembly), the question arises whether the current initiative procedure is too easy, resulting in too many specifics in the Constitution that are more appropriate to legislation.  For example, see Cleveland.com, Ohio Constitution too easy to alter, some lawmakers say.   Also see article by Terzian, Barbara A. “Ohio’s Constitutional Conventions and Constitutions”, at p. 76-77 (Excerpt via Google Books)  in The History of Ohio Law. Professor Steinglass (video at 55:10) says this may not be true because out of 68 initiatives made by individuals from 1913 to 2014, only 18 of these were approved by voters.  The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission is examining whether to amend Ohio’s seldom-used statutory initiative process, Ohio Constitution Art. II, Section 1b.  The idea is to make statutory initiatives easier, and encourage the use of that process, rather than an initiative petition to amend the Constitution.


Leave a Reply