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House Leaders: Opioid Settlement Amendment Won’t Make Ballot

A constitutional amendment backed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to set up a way to distribute opioid settlement money through a statewide foundation won’t go before voters in March. 

That’s according to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House, who would have to approve the proposal by next week.

Democratic House Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) said taking away lawmakers’ role in appropriating money is problematic, but she said local communities filed these opioid lawsuits because the AG didn’t.

“And so to come in at the 11 th hour and say, we’re going to come grab the money, we’re going to tell you how to appropriate it when this administrative function never happened in the first place is a totally ridiculous exercise in judgment,” Sykes said.

Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) pointed out that fellow Republican Dave Yost wasn’t the only AG who could have filed lawsuits, and that he’s concerned that settlement money could be squandered. But Householder said there’s not enough time for this proposal.

“It’s not going to make the primary,” Householder said. “He needs a new plan.”

The proposal would have to pass both the House and Senate by December 18 to make the March ballot.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.
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