State Issue 3: Certified Ballot Language
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
(Proposed by Initiative Petition)
To adopt Section 5 of Article XVII of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.
In order to establish revised limits on political contributions, establish prohibitions regarding political contributions and provide for revised public disclosure requirements of campaign contributions and expenditures, this amendment would:
- Establish the following limits on political contributions:
Annual limitation on contributions by individuals: $25,000 in total to all candidates for state executive offices and member of the General Assembly, political parties, PACs, multi-candidate PACs, and small donor PACs.
Contributions from individuals: $50 to a small donor PAC; $500 to a political action committee; $1,000 to a candidate for member of the general assembly, a multi-candidate PAC, or a county or local political party; $2,000 to a candidate for statewide executive office; and $5,000 to a national or state political party.
Contributions from political action committees (PACs): $500 to a candidate for member of the General Assembly or another PAC or multi-candidate PAC and $1,000 to a candidate for statewide executive office or a political party. Contributions from multi-candidate PACs: $500 to a PAC; $1,000 to a candidate for member of the general assembly or another multi-candidate PAC; $2,000 to a candidate for statewide executive office or a county or local political party; and $10,000 to a national or state political party.
Contributions from small donor PACs: $500 to a PAC; $1,000 to a multi-candidate PAC; $5,000 to a local or county political party; $10,000 to a candidate for member of the general assembly; $20,000 to a candidate for statewide executive office; and $25,000 to a national or state political party. Contributions from candidates’ committees: $500 to a candidate for member of the general assembly; a PAC or multi-candidate PAC and $1,000 to a candidate for statewide executive office or a political party.
Contributions from affiliated national, state, county, and local political parties combined: $25,000 to a candidate for member of the general assembly and $100,000 to a candidate for statewide executive office.
- Provide that limits on contributions to candidates are per election; all other limits are per year; limits on contributions to political parties apply to all donations regardless of purpose; and limits on contributions to and by PACs apply as a single limit on affiliated committees.
- Define a “small donor action committee” as a PAC that receives contributions only from individuals of no more than $50 per year per contributor, except that a non-profit membership organization may contribute funds from regular membership dues of its members to small donor action committees that it establishes or are established by a non-profit membership organization with which it is a member or affiliated, provided that no more than $50 per year per member may be contributed.
- Define a “multi-candidate political committee” as a PAC that has been in existence for at least six months, received contributions from at least 50 individuals in the 24 months preceding qualifying, and made contributions to at least five candidates with no more than half being to one candidate.
- Define “independent expenditure” as an expenditure made with a purpose of influencing a candidate election, that is not made in coordination, cooperation, or consultation with any candidate at the election; and also as any communication to the public during the period 60 days prior to a primary or general election that contains a reference to a person who is a candidate at the election for state executive office or member of the General Assembly, regardless of the purpose of the communication.
- Establish restrictions on contributions, including by political parties and corporations and other business entities and from individuals under age 18 and prohibit earmarked contributions.
- Prohibit statewide and general assembly candidates and office holders from:
- Soliciting contributions to more than one political action committee, small donor action committee or multi-candidate political committee in a calendar year.
- Soliciting contributions to a committee supporting or opposing a state ballot issue.
- Appearing in advertising in connection with a state ballot issue, unless the candidate or the candidate’s campaign committee pays the entire cost.
- Require public disclosure of political contributions and expenditures, including independent expenditures. Require candidates for state executive offices or member of the general assembly to electronically file with a single office within one business day of receipt of a contribution in the amount of $1,000 or more received during the period 30 days before an election.
- Provide for no limits on a candidate’s capacity to spend his or her own money in connection with his or her own campaign, and have the effect of repealing existing law allowing an opponent to be exempt from contribution limits.
- Permit labor unions, and other nonprofit unincorporated membership organizations, to contribute funds from regular membership dues paid by the organization’s individual members to a small donor action committee. The small donor action committee is not required to report the names of individuals who contribute in this fashion.
- Prohibit committees registered with and regulated by the Federal Election Commission from making contributions or independent expenditures in connection with any nonfederal candidate election in this state or making a contribution to a political party in this state for nonfederal elections.
- Prohibit out-of-state political parties and candidate campaign committees from making contributions or expenditures in connection with any candidate election or making a contribution to a political party in the state.
- Prohibit candidates from receiving contributions from political action committees, small donor action committees or multi-candidate political committees if the candidate exercises any decision making authority with respect to the committee or has solicited contributions to the committee in the current or prior four years
A majority yes vote is necessary for passage.
SHALL THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT BE ADOPTED?