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Ohio Statehouse Update: Constitutional Modernization Commission and Vorys Constitutional Seminar

Constitutional Modernization Commission

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission held its first meeting on September 13, 2012.  The Commission was created through the passage of House Bill 188 earlier this year, and is tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of the Ohio Constitution, and making recommendations to the General Assembly regarding changes to the Constitution, including recommendations for changes to the process for proposing constitutional amendments.  The Commission is comprised of 12 legislators – six from each chamber divided equally between Democrats and Republicans – and 20 members of the public selected by the legislator members.  We are proud to report that our own Fred Mills, head of the Vorys Government Relations group and former Clerk of the Ohio House and Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the House, was announced at last week’s meeting as one of the appointed public members selected to serve on the Commission.

Vorys Seminar on the Ohio Constitution

Vorys recently held an Ohio Constitutional Law Seminar centered around the question that will be put before Ohio voters in November:  “Shall there be a convention to revise, alter or amend the constitution?”  The opening presenters provided historical background regarding the formation of Ohio’s constitution and the amendments to it since its original inception in 1802.  The seminar featured a lively panel discussion with former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder, and Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Peggy Bryant regarding current constitutional provisions potentially ripe for amendment.  Each of the three provided good perspectives on the effects of state constitutional provisions on the respective workings of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government based on their experiences.  Other presenters focused on present-day examples of state constitutional provisions intersecting with present day policy debates and initiatives. 

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