The legislature just made it harder for anyone to use local ballot issues to fight fracking, thanks to a bill rammed through the legislature, House Bill 463, which Gov. John Kasich signed Wednesday.
That's not the only problem that mars the 67-page Christmas tree, which passed Dec. 8. Reprehensibly, the bill also weakens Ohio's housing discrimination law.
As to the environment, HB 463 takes aim at attempts to propose county charters, or city or village ballot issues, that would ban fracking or any other local initiative that would run counter to statewide law (example: ballot issues to soften marijuana penalties).
HB 463 gives county Boards of Elections and the Ohio secretary of state power to decide if a municipal initiative or proposed county charter fails to follow proper procedures for reaching the ballot - or (this is key) tries to claim local control over powers the state reserves for itself. (A 2004 law gives the state sole authority over oil and gas production.)
If a ballot issue does either, HB 463 allows elections boards and the secretary to keep it off the ballot.The whole article can be read by clicking right here.
View the bill itself below:
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