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Rep. Lightbody Comments on Passage of SJR 2

May 11, 2023
Mary Lightbody News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today denounces the passage of Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 2 by the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Rep. Lightbody and all House Democrats stood with the people and voted against the undemocratic, unfair, and unpopular resolution that will shred Ohio’s Constitution. 

“I am disheartened that the House passed SJR 2 that would remove the constitutional right for a majority of Ohio voters to participate in direct democracy on issues that matter most. I appreciate that many people in House District 04 and throughout the state are paying attention and have contacted me about bills that seem to challenge representative democracy. Not even a year ago, members of the majority party passed through a law to eliminate most August special elections. Now, in a rush to get ahead of expected ballot issues regarding reproductive rights and minimum wage, and hope for a low turnout, the House Majority has reinstated an August election with a $20 million dollar price tag,” said Rep. Lightbody. “SJR2 gives greater weight to the votes of 40% plus one than 60% of the voters. I prefer that we continue to allow the 50% plus one majority of all votes cast to determine the outcomes on proposed constitutional amendments.”

For more than 111 years, Ohioans have had the right to use direct democracy to achieve their goals when unresponsive politicians would not listen. The resolution now heads to an August special election. If passed, Ohioans would lose their freedom to determine the future of the state as 40% of voters could block initiatives the majority of people want. The resolution’s supermajority vote requirement for future constitutional amendments would tilt the scales of democracy away from voters and toward well-funded, out-of-state, dark-monied special interests.