Elections many times spur partisan positions based upon individual party affiliation. As the current judges of Allen County Common Pleas Court and Lima Municipal Court, we may have different political views, however, we are in total agreement in our opposition to State Issue 1 on the November ballot.
This proposed constitutional amendment would erode the ability of a court to enforce treatment alternatives and could result in the early release of prison inmates who were convicted of crimes that have no relation to drugs much less drug dependency.
The backers of the amendment make great promises to save money and then apply those savings to drug recovery services. An examination of those claims by the nonpartisan Office of Budget and Management (OBM) indicates that “the proposed amendment would not produce significant savings to the state and could (depending on interpretation) actually increase costs to the state by tens of millions of dollars.”
This could be particularly damaging to local governments by shifting costs to counties without providing funding as the OBM believes “the proposed amendment would add costs that likely would not be covered by potentially available appropriations under amendment.”
The approach to addressing the drug crisis needs to be measured and thoughtful. This proposed amendment is neither, but is instead short-sighted and ambiguous. That ambiguity is particularly troubling because it is proposed as a constitutional amendment which cannot be modified by a later legislative enactment to correct problems in its implementation and operation. If this were proposed in the legislature as a statutory enactment, technical corrections could be initiated by our elected representatives when needed. Such is not the case if adopted as a constitutional amendment as proposed in State Issue 1.
Proposed State Issue 1 is dangerous. Vote “no.”
Allen County Judges David Cheney, Jeffrey Reed, David Rodabaugh, Tammie Hursh, Glenn Derryberry, Matt Staley