COLUMBUS (TNS) — Ohioans will see a proposal to reduce prescription drug prices and probably a constitutional amendment to support crime victims on the Nov. 7 ballot.
They will not, however, vote to change how Ohio congressional districts are drawn. Supporters of the Fair Congressional Districts did not submit the required 305,591 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters by Wednesday’s deadline.
The Drug Price Relief Act was approved for the ballot months ago after a flurry of signature gathering and litigation. The initiated statute proposed by the the AIDS Healthcare Foundation of Los Angeles asks Ohio voters to require the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Proponents argue the issue would affect about 4 million Ohioans in a variety of state programs and could save up to $400 million annually.
Opponents of the issue, anchored by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, counter that the issue is unworkable and might end up costing rather than saving money for consumers.
The issue is expected to generate one of the most costly campaigns in Ohio history leading up the fall election.
Also likely to make the Nov. 8 ballot is Marsy’s Law, a proposed constitutional amendment that would boost protections for crime victims. It includes timely notice of criminal proceedings, the opportunity to speak at court proceedings, notice of the release or escape of perpetrators, and financial restitution for loss. Ohio law already has many of those provisions, but Marsy’s Law supporters say they don’t go far enough.
Backers of Ohio’s proposal, named for a California woman slain by her ex-boyfriend in 1983, turned in 563,556 signatures; 305,591 are required to get on the ballot. County boards of elections have until July 14 to verify signatures and report to Secretary of State Jon Husted.
The redistricting issue was originally aimed at the fall ballot, but ran into a roadblock earlier this year when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine initially rejected the wording. The issue was resubmitted and approved, but issue supporters lost valuable time to collect signatures. They are now looking at the 2018 ballot.
Reach Alan Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ohioaj.