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The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission posted its 2013-2014 Biennial Report to its webpage.  The report summarizes progress over the past two years, including:

  • Hiring an executive director and Commission staff.
  • Adoption of Rules of Procedure and Conduct
  • Topics discussed by each committee, status of any recommendations and topics/Constitution sections each committee is charged with reviewing.  Speakers heard by the committees are also listed.

Some of the topics reviewed by each Committee were (links are to articles in this blog with more information on the topic):

Education, Public Institutions and Local Government:

  • Potential impact of sharing governmental functions between state and local entities.
  • Challenges created by population changes and by conflict between state and local law.
  • Article VI, Section 2, specifically focusing on the background and implication of the section’s directive that the General Assembly “secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state.”  See tag: education

Finance, Taxation, and Economic Development Committee:

  • What the state’s role should be in encouraging economic development through funding of private enterprise.
  • The impact of tax preferences and other tax-related considerations on state financing and economic growth.
  • How the state addresses debt.

Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice Committee:

  • Ohio’s current method of electing judges, and whether adopting an appointive system might improve the quality of the judiciary and eliminate some perceived problems with judicial elections.  See tag Judicial election reform
  • Whether two constitutional provisions, Article IV, Sections 19 and 22, were obsolete and should be recommended for repeal.  See OCMC Judiciary Committee Recommends Deleting Unused Constitution Sections
  • A proposal to allow the Ohio Supreme Court to take original jurisdiction over actions for declaratory judgment in cases of public or great general interest.  (A response to ProgressOhio.org, Inc. v. JobsOhio, 2014 Ohio 2382, see tag: )

Bill of Rights and Voting Committee

  • Review of Article I, Sections 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 13, 17, and 20, as well as Article V, Sections 2, 2a, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Preliminary consensus to retain Article I, Section 2 (Right to Alter, Reform, or Abolish Government, and Repeal Special Privileges), Section 3 (Right to Assemble), Section 4 (Right to Bear Arms), Section 6 (Slavery and Involuntary Servitude), Section 13 (Quartering Troops), Section 17 (No Hereditary Privileges), and Section 20 (Powers Reserved to the People).
  • With regard to Article V, Sections 2 (Elections by Ballot), 2a (Names of Candidates on Ballot), and 7 (Primary Elections), preliminarily agreeing that Sections 2 and 2a should be retained in their current form, and Section 7 will be addressed later.
  • Review of Article V, Section 4, relating to the disenfranchisement of persons convicted of felony crimes, and Section 6, relating to the disenfranchisement of “idiots” or “insane persons.”  See Voting Rights of Felons, Mentally Ill, Discussed by Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission Committee

Constitutional Revisions and Updating Committee

  • Whether the existing constitutional provisions regarding initiative and referendum should be retained, or whether they should be modified in favor of a system that would encourage members of the public wishing to effect change to pursue the enactment of statutory law rather than the adoption of constitutional amendments.

Legislative Branch and Executive Branch Committee

  • Legislative redistricting, both in relation to plans for how Ohio draws districts for members of the General Assembly and plans for how Ohio sets congressional districts for United States Representatives and Senators, provision for which is not currently part of the Ohio Constitution.  See tag: redistricting.
  • Term limits for Ohio legislators, as provided for in Article II, Section 2, and considered whether it would be advisable to lengthen term limits for state representatives from the current limit of four two-year terms to six two-year terms, and to lengthen term limits for state senators from the current limit of two four-year terms to three four-year terms.  See tag:


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