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Category Archive for 'Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission'

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission was terminated by the Ohio General Assembly on June 30, 2017. The Commission had been created in 2011 and was supposed to last for 10 years. The Commission’s purpose was a comprehensive review of the Ohio Constitution, which is the 10th longest in the country.

In a column for the Columbus Dispatch, published on July 9, 2017, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Dean Emeritus and former Senior Policy Advisor of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, Steven Steinglass reflected on the Commission’s work and some topics left unfinished. Despite not being fully staffed until mid-2014, the Commission approved recommendations to repeal or amend 21 sections. The General Assembly must decide whether to present those proposals to voters for approval. Two amendments, involving apportionment and anti-monopoly, were put before voters in 2015 and were approved. The Commission recommended no changes to 39 sections.

According to Steinglass, there are still many more provisions that the Commission did not act on. For example, committee-approved proposals to reform grand jury proceedings; unconstitutional provisions such as barring same-sex marriage and placing term limits on members of Congress; obsolete provisions; detailed provisions that should be in statutes instead; and hot button issues such as congressional redistricting.

The Commission’s work record, including proceedings and reports are still available on its website, but will eventually be moved to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission website.

The full text of the column is available here.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, created in 2011 by HB 188, was scheduled to wrap up in 2021. However, the Commission has been eliminated early by the recent budget bill, HB 49 passed on June 28, 2017. The final meeting of the Commission occurred on June 8, 2017, and the final reports of the Commission were published on its website on June 30, 2017. Commission documents will be transferred to the Legislative Service Commission. Click here for the full press release.

The most recent issue of the Ohio State Law Journal, volume 77, number 2 (2016) contains articles on state constitutional law, expanding on a 2015 symposium on the topic. The issue includes Constitutional Revision: Ohio Style, written by Steven H. Steinglass, Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and current Senior Policy Advisor of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission. This article focuses on the history of constitutional revision in Ohio, and specifically on expansion of the methods for making revisions.

Constitutional Revision: Ohio Style begins with the Northwest Ordinance and 1802 Ohio Constitution, and reviews the path to statehood along with changes in the methods of constitutional revision later adopted in Ohio’s current constitution. The article then examines changes resulting from the Progressive-Era Constitutional Convention of 1912, and changes over the last century including the use of initiatives and constitutional revision commissions.

The Legislative and Executive Branch Committee of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission discussed the one subject rule contained in the Ohio Constitution, as well as amending the Ohio Constitutional to reform Congressional Redistricting.  See OCMC Press Release.   View meeting materials, including expert reports, here.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission’s Bill of Rights and Voting Committee discussed constitutional provisions on the capacity to vote at their September 10, 2015 meeting.  The committee recommended that Article V, Section 6 be repealed, and that a new section be adopted.   Currently, Article V, Section 6 of the Ohio Constitution reads, “no idiot or insane person, shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.  The committee voted to change this language to “no person who lacks the mental capacity to vote shall have the right and privileges of an elector during the time of incapacity.”

See OCMC Press Release

All meetings will take place on Thursday, July 9, 2015  in Columbus, Ohio.  If you are interested in addressing a committee please contact Steven C. Hollon, Executive Director of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission at 614.644.2022.

For changes and updates, see http://www.ocmc.ohio.gov/ocmc/home

10:00 a.m.

Education, Public Institutions, and Local Government CommitteeSouth Meeting Room B, 31st Floor of the Riffe Center for Government and the Arts.  Presentations: Steven H. Steinglass, Senior Policy Advisor – “Article VI, Section 3 (Public School System, Boards of Education)”; Sue Steele, Board Member, Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, “Joint Vocational Schools”; Al Haberstroh, Board Member, Trumbull County Educational Service Center, “Educational Service Centers”. Reports and Recommendations (second presentation and possible adoption): Article VI, Section 1 (Funds for Religious and Educational Purposes) and Article VI, Section 2 (School Funds).   Committee Discussion on Article VI, Section 3 – (Local Boards of Education).

11:30 a.m.

Organization and Administration Committee – South Meeting Room C, 31st Floor of the Riffe Center for Government and the Arts. Presentations by Steven C. Hollon, OCMC Executive Director:  “FY2016 – Proposed Budget” and “Proposed Amendments to Rules of Procedure and Conduct”.  Committee Discussion:  FY2016 – Proposed Budget and Proposed Amendments to Rules of Procedure and Conduct.

12:30 p.m.

Coordinating Committee – South Meeting Room C, 31st Floor of the Riffe Center for Government and the Arts.   Reports and Recommendations for consideration and approval:  Article I, Section 13 (Quartering of Troops); Article I, Section 17 (No Hereditary Privileges); Article VI, Section 1 (Funds for Religious and Educational Purposes); Article VI, Section 2 (School Funds).

1:00 p.m.

Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice Committee – South Meeting Room B, 31st Floor of the Riffe Center for Government and the Arts.  Presentations: Senator Sandra Williams, Task Force Member: “Grand Jury Recommendation by the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations”; Professor Gregory M. Gilchrist, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law, “An Introduction to the Grand Jury”.  Discussion: Article I, Section 10 (Grand Juries) – Discussion regarding continuing reference to grand jury in the Ohio Constitution.

 

 

 

 

The budget bill passed by the Ohio House and Senate, 131st General Assembly Amended Substitute HB 64, will terminate the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission (OCMC) on January 1, 2018.    It will repeal sections 103.61, 103.62, 103.63, 103.64, 103.65, 103.66, and 103.67 of the Revised Code on that date.   Am. Sub. H.B. 64 awaits signature by Governor Kasich.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Constitution-reform panel must be preserved:

The commission, created in 2011, was charged with researching and debating whether and how the Ohio Constitution could be changed to address longstanding flaws in state government. It was given 10 years to do so — it is set to expire in July 2021 — but didn’t really get off the ground for two years, thanks largely to legislators’ neglect.

It was intended to perform the same function as a similar commission empanelled in the 1970s.

Even so, in less than a year and a half of focused work, led by some sterling volunteers, committees of the bipartisan commission have reached consensus on thorny issues that a hopelessly partisan and short-sighted legislature has proved incapable of addressing.

The Ohio Senate Finance Committee previously proposed eliminating the OCMC as of January 1, 2016.  See our prior post Ohio Senate Finance Committee Wants to Eliminate the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission.

 

Per Hannah News, OCMC Co-Chair Discusses Senate Budget; Commission Adopts No Change Recommendations, June 11, 2015:

… the commission [Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission] unanimously voted to adopt three recommendations from the Bill of Rights and Voting Committee to retain current language in Article I, Sec. 2, concerning the right of the people to alter, reform, or abolish government, the right of government to repeal special privileges, and equal protection; Article I, Sec. 3, concerning the right to assemble and petition; and Article I, Sec. 4, concerning the right to bear arms, the prohibition against maintaining standing armies during peacetime, and the subordination of the military to civil power. 

Per the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission’s Facebook page:

The Bill of Rights and Voting Committee adopted reports and recommendations for Article 1, Section 13 (Quartering Troops) and Article 1, Sections 13 (No Hereditary Privileges). The reports and recommendations were passed unanimously to retain language in its current form.

All meetings will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. If you are interested in addressing a committee please contact Steven C. Hollon, Executive Director of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission at 614.644.2022.

9:30 a.m.
Bill of Rights and Voting Committee – Room 018 of the Ohio StatehousePossible adoption of recommendations concerning  Article I, Section 13 (Quartering of Troops) and  Article I, Section 17 (No Hereditary Privileges).  Discussion of elimination of the phrase “idiot, or insane person” from Article V, Section 6 and discussion regarding excluding from voting those convicted of a felony (Article V, Section 4).

11 a.m.
Constitutional Revision and Updating Committee
– Room 018 of the Ohio Statehouse.  Discussion of the Special Interest Amendment – a constitutional amendment limiting initiative petitions that create special interests.
1:30  p.m.

Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission – South Meeting Rooms B & C, 31st Floor of the Riffe Center for Government and the Arts. Reports and Recommendations will be heard on the possible adoption of committee recommendations regarding  Article I, Section 2 (Right to Alter, Reform, or Abolish Government),  Article I, Section 3 (Right to Assemble) and Article I, Section 4 (Bearing Arms; Standing Armies; Military Power).

2:30  p.m.

Legislative Branch and Executive Branch Committee – 2:30 p.m. in in South Meeting Rooms B & C, 31st Floor of the Riffe Center for Government and the Arts.  Presentation:  HJR2 – Congressional Redistricting, by Ann Henkener, League of Women Voters of Ohio and Richard Gunther, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University. Discussion regarding  HJR2 – Congressional Redistricting and Sub. SJR1 – Public Office Compensation Commission.

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