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Lawmakers sent to voters constitutional amendments on bail changes, citizens-only voting

Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau

Voters will consider two constitutional amendments this fall – one related to people accused of crimes and bail, and the other to immigrants and voting.

The amendments passed the Senate in a busy session Wednesday afternoon.

Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Huron) said the amendment would require judges consider the risk to public safety when setting bail for defendants.

“Ohioans care about public safety and I have no doubt that they will overwhelmingly support this amendment," Gavarone said.

But Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) said there’s already a bipartisan bail bill pending in the Senate that Republicans could move forward.

“Instead they are creating a bunch of hysterical talking points and scaring the public and insists that this should go to the ballot," Thomas said.

That passed along party lines.

But a resolution to ask voters to clarify in the constitution that only citizens can vote in Ohio passed unanimously. That's a contrast to its reception in the Ohio House last month, where it passed 68-28.

Another amendment that had been discussed as a possibility for this fall's ballot would have legalized marijuana. But a deal was worked out between the group pushing that issue and Republican leaders to keep that issue from this fall's ballot. The campaign to put it on the ballot will begin again in January.

Copyright 2022 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.