May 12, 2023

Ohio Legislature Approves Amendment to Increase Majority Needed to Amend Constitution

On May 10, the Ohio House of Representatives voted to approve a resolution that would make it harder to amend the state's constitution. The change would require a sixty percent majority rather than the currently required simple majority. Voters will have the opportunity to vote on this change during a special election in August.

The Ohio Senate had already approved the resolution. The House made some changes, but the Senate quickly approved them after the House voted on May 10.

The resolution would also require citizen-driven ballot initiatives that would amend the Ohio constitution to collect signatures from all 88 counties.

Pro-abortion groups argue that it is not legal for the Ohio legislature to create an August special election by way of joint resolution rather than state law. If the resolution is challenged in court, it may prevent the August special election from taking place.

Pro-life advocates pushed for the resolution after pro-abortion groups submitted a ballot measure for an amendment that would create a constitutional right to abortion in the state. Pro-abortion groups are still gathering the signatures required to place that amendment on the state's November ballot. They face a deadline of July 5 to collect the necessary signatures.

The proposed pro-abortion amendment is also facing a lawsuit from pro-life groups who argue that it should be split into several separate proposals. As written, the amendment would create rights to contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one's own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.