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Ohio lawmakers set August vote for 60% constitutional amendment threshold proposal

A demonstration inside the Ohio Statehouse as lawmakers decide whether to put 60% amendment proposal on an Aug. ballot.
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
A demonstration inside the Ohio Statehouse as lawmakers decide whether to put 60% amendment proposal on an Aug. ballot.

As you’re making your plans for summer, be sure to circle August 8th on your vacation calendar.

That’s now the date set by state lawmakers to hold a special election and decide an amendment to raise the votes to amend the Ohio constitution from a simple majority to 60%.

Proponents say it’s a move needed to protect the state’s founding document from special interests. Opponents say it’s a move to thwart a reproductive rights amendment before it even makes the ballot.

Both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate voted to pass the joint resolution Wednesday capping a months-long effort. Lawmakers just met the deadline set by the Secretary of State to pass the measure to give election boards time to prepare.

Typically, August elections draw abysmally low turnout. But lawmakers have countered the criticism of placing such an important issue on an August ballot by saying they expect turnout for this issue will be higher.

The story tops this week’s news for the Reporters Roundtable.

Later in the hour, we discuss FirstEnergy’s plan to move from its downtown Akron headquarters to a site in western Akron. It’s part of a larger consolidation move by the company driven in part by workforce changes created by the pandemic. The majority of FirstEnergy workers are now considered mobile and work remotely.

Warren Morgan, currently the chief academic officer with the Indianapolis Public Schools will take over from Eric Gordon. Morgan begins work on July 1. He previously served as an academic superintendent and administrator in the district from 2014 to 2016

The rigorous search for Gordon’s successor included input from parents and students. Cleveland is one of the state’s largest school district with more than 36-thousand students.

A new flight service launched this week connecting Cleveland via direct flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Frontier Airlines made the inaugural flight this week out of Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Not only does the direct flight cut down travel time, Frontier offers less expensive ticket pricing.

And, Governor DeWine unveiled the state’s new tourism slogan this week. It’s actually a former slogan getting renewed attention: Ohio, the Heart of it All. The slogan served as the state’s tourism slogan from the 80’s to the early aughts. Now it’s back with the goal of attracting not only visitors, but new residents as well. The state’s declining population has led to a loss of seats in Congress.

-Gabriel Kramer, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Abbey Marshall, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."