No Ohio Ballot Initiatives in 2010

The June 30th deadline for turning in petitions to get special issues on the ballot for the 2010 election cycle just passed. While there were two visible issues being pursued by their supporters, for different reasons, neither will be on the ballot this year.

First, a group lead by Tea Party members were circulating a petition called the "Health Care Freedom Amendment." These are the people who were looking to, as their signs put it, "stop healthcare mandates in Ohio." As of June 21st, it looks like the group backing it, The Ohio Project, threw in the towel after realizing they were not close to gathering enough signatures to get the petition on the ballot this year. Signatures do not expire in Ohio so expect to see these people out all summer as they attempt to get this on the ballot in November of 2011.

The second visible initiative was the Farm Animal Welfare amendment to what was passed as issue 2 last year. After collecting more than enough signatures to get this issue on the ballot in November, leaders of Ohioans for Humane farms were contacted by Governor Strickland to broker a last minute deal between the Humane Society of America and those representing Agro-business. The result is that new restrictions will be put in place to protect animal welfare in Ohio. While the deal brokered didn't place any restrictions on existing chickens in battery cages, no new permits will be issued for this type of factory farming operation. Many of the other restrictions sought by Ohioans for Humane Farms were in the measure such as the restrictions on gestation and veal crates, a ban on strangulation, and a ban on the sale of downed cows. The measure also includes some additional restrictions that will be placed on puppy mills and the sale of wild and exotic animals plus felony penalties will be placed on cock fighting. The currently released details on the agreement can be viewed on Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle's blog here.

Wayne Pacelle also mentions in his statement that signatures in Ohio "never expire" so should the Governor or the Farm Bureau fail to act on this agreement, we may see this on the ballot in 2011 or 2012.

1 comment:

jk said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I applaud Governor Strickland's leadership in bringing about a compromise.

I hope the Humane Society is not being naive.