La Prensa Issues Endorsements
Lucas County, Ohio Issues
Issues 34 to 41 are local levies. Issue 34 is a renewal levy for Toledo Public Schools for the purpose of providing for emergency requirements. It is a 4.8 mill levy for a period of 10 years. It is not a new tax and should be renewed. Vote “Yes” on Issue 34.
Issue 35 is also a TPS levy that reauthorizes the bond passed in 2002 to finish the school building and renovation projects. It will not cost voters any more than it when it was originally approved in 2002. Vote “Yes” on Issue 35.
Issue 37 is the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) levy that is an additional tax in order to re-open the facility at a rate of 0.17 mill. That rate is a minimal investment for the re-opening of a facility that measurably improves the quality of life for Toledo-area residents and visitors. It enlivens the downtown area, increasing business for other merchants, hotels and restaurants. We missed an opportunity to keep COSI open in the spring primary, let’s not miss another such chance. Vote “Yes” on Issue 37.
Issue 38 is the Lucas County Children Services replacement levy in order to support the efforts of that agency in providing for the care and placement of children. Folks, this is a no brainer. LCCS can not continue to provide the level of services for abused, neglected and abandoned children without the funds to operate. Vote “Yes” on Issue 38.
Issue 39 is a replacement tax for the Lucas County Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Department. It will continue to provide financial support for the programs and services for disabled individuals and the operations of the facilities. Vote “Yes” on Issue 39.
Issue 40 is a replacement tax for the Lucas County Mental Health & Recovery Services in order to continue the operation of mental health programs and alcohol and drug addiction programs. Vote “Yes” for Issue 40.
Issue 41 is the renewal of a tax for the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority for all purposes, including economic and jobs development programs. Vote “Yes” on Issue 41.
Ohio Statewide Issues
There are five statewide issues on the ballot this year. Issue number four was withdrawn by committee in September so they are numbered 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6.
State Issue 1 proposes an earlier filing deadline. State Issue 2 authorizes the state to issue bonds to continue the Clean Ohio Program for environmental revitalization and conservation. State Issue 3 amends the constitution to protect private property rights in ground water, lakes and other watercourses.
Changing the deadlines does not guarantee that there will still be enough time to print corrected ballot – it’s pretty much of a guess. Vote “No” on State Issue 1.
As for Issue 2, the authority to issue the bonds is not time-limited and publicly funded bonds may be utilized to benefit private entities. Vote “No” on State Issue 2.
Issue 3 asks the voters to approve something that is already contained in Ohio case law. Therefore there is no reason to amend the constitution since property owners’ rights are already protected in such circumstances. Vote “No” on State Issue 3.
Let’s turn our attention to the two big ticket items on the ballot.
Issue 6 is the casino amendment asking voters to approve the construction of one casino by a particular out-of-state casino operator on the Ohio River.
We aren’t taking any view on in-state gambling in general, we just don’t like this particular proposal because of the out-of-state component, the single casino component and the fact that the location is fixed in the southern part of the state.
When another casino is proposed, we will need another such amendment. There is a much easier way to introduce gambling to Ohio, if voters want it introduced at all. Vote “No” on State Issue 6.
Issue 5 proposes making changes to payday lending practices. A yes vote caps the annual interest rate on payday loans at 28 percent. Such lenders can currently charge up to 391 percent annually. Such loans are certainly usurious—just like bank overdraft fees and credit card late fees. Vote “Yes” on State Issue 5.