COLUMBUS, Ohio - A proposal to change Ohio General Assembly term limits reached a small milestone in the process of getting on the ballot Thursday.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office certified a summary of the petition for the constitutional amendment.
Certification doesn’t reflect whether Attorney General Dave Yost agrees with the measure, but it means he has concluded it is a fair and truthful statement of what the amendment would do if passed.
The proposal would allow lawmakers a lifetime limit of 16 years in either Ohio House or Senate.
In 1992, voters amended the Ohio Constitution saying there was no lifetime cap but lawmakers were limited to eight consecutive years in each chamber. This allows lawmakers to switch back and forth between each chamber.
After Yost’s certification, the initial signatures on the proposal will be verified by county election boards and the Ohio Ballot Board must determine whether the petition only contains one constitutional amendment.
If the proposal can survive those hurdles, petitioners may start collecting signatures across the state.
That will require roughly 443,000 valid voter signatures from 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties by July 1 for the measure to make the November ballot.
Under the proposal, the term limits clock would begin Jan. 1, 2021, and previous time served would be wiped out.
For instance, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who would have to leave the chamber under the current law in 2024, could stay through 2036.