To the Editor:
The League of Women Voters of Ohio has taken positions on the 2011 General Election ballot Issues. They are as follows:
Issue 1: Proposed constitutional amendment to change the age at which a person may not be elected or appointed to a judicial office and to eliminate courts of conciliation and the Supreme Court Commission: NEUTRAL.
Issue 2: Referendum on legislation relative to government union contracts and other government employment contracts and policies (a referendum on Am. Sub. S.B. 5): NEUTRAL.
Issue 3: Proposed constitutional amendment to add a section to Ohio's Bill of Rights exempting Ohioans from a federal requirement that individuals purchase a minimum amount of health insurance coverage: OPPOSE. In taking a stance on proposed constitutional amendments and referendums, the League of Women Voters of Ohio (LWV Ohio) considers the public policy positions that the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and LWV Ohio have adopted after careful study and member consensus.
Passage of Issue 1 would increase the age at which a judge could be elected or appointed from age 70 to age 75. Neither LWVUS nor LWV Ohio has a position that pertains to Issue 1. Accordingly, LWV Ohio is taking a neutral stance on Issue 1.
Issue 2 is a referendum on Am. Sub S.B. 5, which seeks to change laws concerning public employees, in particular teachers, firefighters and police. Major changes affect collective bargaining rights, salary schedules and compensation, layoff procedures and leave. Neither LWVUS nor LWV Ohio has a position that pertains to Issue 2. Accordingly, LWV Ohio is taking a neutral stance on Issue 2.
Issue 3 seeks to add a section to Ohio's Bill of Rights exempting Ohioans from any requirement that individuals purchase a minimum amount of health insurance. The amendment is directed at a federal law passed in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), but it also seeks to make ineffective similar state and local laws passed after the PPACA was adopted. LWVUS adopted a position on health care in 1993 that supports a basic level of affordable, accessible quality care for all U.S residents. LWV Ohio believes Issue 3 seeks to undermine efforts to provide a basic level of affordable, accessible quality health care for Ohio's residents. Accordingly, LWV Ohio is opposing Issue 3.
Go to www.lwvohio.org to access the League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund November 2011 Ballot Issue Explanations.
Ellsworth Holden, co-president
Debbie Schmieding, co-president
League of Women Voters of Athens County