COLUMBUS - 

Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a resolution that would block any proposal of a constitutional amendment that would create a monopoly in the state.


Sponsored by State Representatives Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and Mike Curtin (D-Marble Cliff), HJR 4 calls for a constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot for the upcoming general election that would ensure that monopolies cannot be created through the use of constitutional amendments. This would block any upcoming initiatives that create a monopoly from becoming effective in the Ohio Constitution because constitutionally, pending the passage of two conflicting amendments, the one with the most votes prevails.


“As elected officials, it is our duty to protect our state constitution from being overrun by moneyed interests whose only goal is to secure financial benefit for a highly selective group of wealthy individuals,” said Rep. Smith. “I’m pleased with the resolution’s passage today as it is my firm belief that the language contained in this resolution strictly applies to a restriction on profiteering through the exploitation of the citizen-initiated amendment process, while ensuring that Ohio citizens still have the right to place measures on the ballot that seek to promote the well-being of all Ohioans.”


Ohioans would still be able to propose an economic monopoly, but it would be through a more careful two-step process. First, individuals must vote to suspend the anti-monopoly provision at a general election and then must approve that same economic monopoly at the following general election.


“This proposed amendment will give voters the opportunity to make Ohio the 20th state in our nation to adopt a constitutional provision to ban commercial monopolies in our foundation document,” Rep. Curtin said. “Monopolies have no place in the Ohio Constitution. The amendment process should never be used as market opportunity for special interests. I look forward to working with all Ohioans to uphold the basic integrity of our state constitution.”


Other states have enacted anti-monopoly provisions including North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee and Texas, and others.

 
 
 
  
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