Efforts to give Ohioans more power to pass and enforce local laws that might conflict with state laws gained initial approval Monday.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday certified petitions for two proposed amendments to the state constitution: the Ohio Community Rights Amendment and the Initiative and Referendum Amendment for Counties and Townships. DeWine's certification is the first in a long series of steps for the measures to appear on a statewide ballot.
The community rights amendment would establish a constitutional right to local community self-government for the "health, safety and welfare of community members." The county and township amendment would extend Ohio's constitutional right to initiative and referendum on state and city laws to county and township laws.
The amendments were drafted to address what supporters say is growing influence from the Ohio Statehouse on local, community decisions. The amendment is backed by the Ohio Community Rights Network and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.Read the rest of the article by clicking here.
The goal of the CELDF, of course, is to get local bans of oil and gas activity put in place. Where the organization has succeeded in getting such measures passed in Ohio communities they have not held up because of the state constitution, which gives sole discretion on permitting to the state. This change, if passed, would allow local communities to block drilling, pipelines, and all other activity related to oil and gas without conflicting with state law.
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