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Article II, Ohio Constitution

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Ohio Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIISchedule
Article II of the Ohio Constitution is entitled Legislature and consists of 50 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

In Whom Power Vested

The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a General Assembly consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose to the General Assembly laws and amendments to the constitution, and to adopt or reject the same at the polls on a referendum vote as hereinafter provided. They also reserve the power to adopt or reject any law, section of any law or any item in any law appropriating money passed by the General Assembly, except as herein after provided; and independent of the General Assembly to propose amendments to the constitution and to adopt or reject the same at the polls. The limitations expressed in the constitution, on the power of the General Assembly to enact laws, shall be deemed limitations on the power of the people to enact laws.

(1851, am. 1912, 1918, 1953)

Section 1a

Text of Section 1a:

Initiative and Referendum to Amend Constitution

The first aforestated power reserved by the people is designated the initiative, and the signatures of ten per centum of the electors shall be required upon a petition to propose an amendment to the constitution. When a petition signed by the aforesaid required number of electors, shall have been filed with the secretary of state, and verified as herein provided, proposing an amendment to the constitution, the full text of which shall have been set forth in such petition, the secretary of state shall submit for the approval or rejection of the electors, the proposed amendment, in the manner hereinafter provided, at the next succeeding regular or general election in any year occurring subsequent to one hundred twenty-five days after the filing of such petition. The initiative petitions, above described, shall have printed across the top thereof: “Amendment to the Constitution Proposed by Initiative Petition to be Submitted Directly to the Electors.”

(1912, am. 2008)

Section 1b

Text of Section 1b:

Initiative and Referendum to Enact Laws

When at any time, not less than ten days prior to the commencement of any session of the General Assembly, there shall have been filed with the secretary of state a petition signed by three per centum of the electors and verified as herein provided, proposing a law, the full text of which shall have been set forth in such petition, the secretary of state shall transmit the same to the General Assembly as soon as it convenes. If said proposed law shall be passed by the General Assembly, either as petitioned for or in an amended form, it shall be subject to the referendum. If it shall not be passed, or if it shall be passed in an amended form, or if no action shall be taken thereon within four months from the time it is received by the General Assembly, it shall be submitted by the secretary of state to the electors for their approval or rejection, if such submission shall be demanded by supplementary petition verified as herein provided and signed by not less than three per centum of the electors in addition to those signing the original petition, which supplementary petition must be signed and filed with the secretary of state within ninety days after the proposed law shall have been rejected by the General Assembly or after the expiration of such term of four months, if no action has been taken thereon, or after the law as passed by the General Assembly shall have been filed by the governor in the office of the secretary of state. The proposed law shall be submitted at the next regular or general election occurring subsequent to one hundred twenty-five days after the supplementary petition is filed in the form demanded by such supplementary petition which form shall be either as first petitioned for or with any amendment or amendments which may have been incorporated therein by either branch or by both branches, of the General Assembly. If a proposed law so submitted is approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, it shall be the law and shall go into effect as herein provided in lieu of any amended form of said law which may have been passed by the General Assembly, and such amended law passed by the General Assembly shall not go into effect until and unless the law proposed by supplementary petition shall have been rejected by the electors. All such initiative petitions, last above described, shall have printed across the top thereof, in case of proposed laws: “Law Proposed by Initiative Petition First to be Submitted to the General Assembly.” Ballots shall be so printed as to permit an affirmative or negative vote upon each measure submitted to the electors. Any proposed law or amendment to the constitution submitted to the electors as provided in section la and section 1b, if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, shall take effect thirty days after the election at which it was approved and shall be published by the secretary of state. If conflicting proposed laws or conflicting proposed amendments to the constitution shall be approved at the same election by a majority of the total number of votes cast for and against the same, the one receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall be the law, or in the case of amendments to the constitution shall be the amendment to the constitution. No law proposed by initiative petition and approved by the electors shall be subject to the veto of the governor.

(1912, am. 2008)

Section 1c

Text of Section 1c:

Referendum to Challenge Laws Enacted by General Assembly

The second aforestated power reserved by the people is designated the referendum, and the signatures of six per centum of the electors shall be required upon a petition to order the submission to the electors of the state for their approval or rejection, of any law, section of any law or any item in any law appropriating money passed by the General Assembly. No law passed by the General Assembly shall go into effect until ninety days after it shall have been filed by the governor in the office of the secretary of state, except as herein provided. When a petition, signed by six per centum of the electors of the state and verified as herein provided, shall have been filed with the secretary of state within ninety days after any law shall have been filed by the governor in the office of the secretary of state, ordering that such law, section of such law or any item in such law appropriating money be submitted to the electors of the state for their approval or rejection, the secretary of state shall submit to the electors of the state for their approval or rejection such law, section or item, in the manner herein provided, at the next succeeding regular or general election in any year occurring subsequent to one hundred twenty-five days after the filing of such petition, and no such law, section or item shall go into effect until and unless approved by a majority of those voting upon the same. If, however, a referendum petition is filed against any such section or item, the remainder of the law shall not thereby be prevented or delayed from going into effect.

(1912, am. 2008)

Section 1d

Text of Section 1d:

Emergency Laws; Not Subject to Referendum

Laws providing for tax levies, appropriations for the current expenses of the state government and state institutions, and emergency laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, shall go into immediate effect. Such emergency laws upon a yea and nay vote must receive the vote of two thirds of all the members elected to each branch of the General Assembly, and the reasons for such necessity shall be set forth in one section of the law, which section shall be passed only upon a yea and nay vote, upon a separate roll call thereon. The laws mentioned in this section shall not be subject to the referendum.

Section 1e

Text of Section 1e:

Powers; Limitation of Use

The powers defined herein as the “initiative” and “referendum” shall not be used to pass a law authorizing any classification of property for the purpose of levying different rates of taxation thereon or of authorizing the levy of any single tax on land or land values or land sites at a higher rate or by a different rule than is or may be applied to improvements thereon or to personal property.

Section 1f

Text of Section 1f:

Power of Municipalities

The initiative and referendum powers are hereby reserved to the people of each municipality on all questions which such municipalities may now or hereafter be authorized by law to control by legislative action; such powers shall be exercised in the manner now or hereafter provided by law.

Section 1g

Text of Section 1g:

Petition Requirements and Preparation; Submission; Ballot Language; by Ohio Ballot Board

Any initiative, supplementary, or referendum petition may be presented in separate parts but each part shall contain a full and correct copy of the title, and text of the law, section or item thereof sought to be referred, or the proposed law or proposed amendment to the constitution. Each signer of any initiative, supplementary, or referendum petition must be an elector of the state and shall place on such petition after his name the date of signing and his place of residence. A signer residing outside of a municipality shall state the county and the rural route number, post office address, or township of his residence. A resident of a municipality shall state the street and number, if any, of his residence and the name of the municipality or the post office address. The names of all signers to such petitions shall be written in ink, each signer for himself. To each part of such petition shall be attached the statement of the circulator, as may be required by law, that he witnessed the affixing of every signature. The secretary of state shall determine the sufficiency of the signatures not later than one hundred five days before the election. The Ohio supreme court shall have original, exclusive jurisdiction over all challenges made to petitions and signatures upon such petitions under this section. Any challenge to a petition or signature on a petition shall be filed not later than ninety-five days before the day of the election. The court shall hear and rule on any challenges made to petitions and signatures not later than eighty-five days before the election. If no ruling determining the petition or signatures to be insufficient is issued at least eighty-five days before the election, the petition and signatures upon such petitions shall be presumed to be in all respects sufficient. If the petitions or signatures are determined to be insufficient, ten additional days shall be allowed for the filing of additional signatures to such petition. If additional signatures are filed, the secretary of state shall determine the sufficiency of those additional signatures not later than sixty-five days before the election. Any challenge to the additional signatures shall be filed not later than fifty-five days before the day of the election. The court shall hear and rule on any challenges made to the additional signatures not later than forty-five days before the election. If no ruling determining the additional signatures to be insufficient is issued at least forty-five days before the election, the petition and signatures shall be presumed to be in all respects sufficient. No law or amendment to the constitution submitted to the electors by initiative and supplementary petition and receiving an affirmative majority of the votes cast thereon, shall be held unconstitutional or void on account of the insufficiency of the petitions by which such submission of the same was procured; nor shall the rejection of any law submitted by referendum petition be held invalid for such insufficiency. Upon all initiative, supplementary, and referendum petitions provided for in any of the sections of this article, it shall be necessary to file from each of one-half of the counties of the state, petitions bearing the signatures of not less than one-half of the designated percentage of the electors of such county. A true copy of all laws or proposed laws or proposed amendments to the constitution, together with an argument or explanation, or both, for, and also an argument or explanation, or both, against the same, shall be prepared. The person or persons who prepare the argument or explanation, or both, against any law, section, or item, submitted to the electors by referendum petition, may be named in such petition and the persons who prepare the argument or explanation, or both, for any proposed law or proposed amendment to the constitution may be named in the petition proposing the same. The person or persons who prepare the argument or explanation, or both, for the law, section, or item, submitted to the electors by referendum petition, or against any proposed law submitted by supplementary petition, shall be named by the General Assembly, if in session, and if not in session then by the governor. The law, or proposed law, or proposed amendment to the constitution, together with the arguments and explanations, not exceeding a total of three hundred words for each, and also the arguments and explanations, not exceeding a total of three hundred words against each, shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks preceding the election, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each county of the state, where a newspaper is published. The secretary of state shall cause to be placed upon the ballots, the ballot language for any such law, or proposed law, or proposed amendment to the constitution, to be submitted. The ballot language shall be prescribed by the Ohio ballot board in the same manner, and subject to the same terms and conditions, as apply to issues submitted by the general assembly pursuant to Section 1 of Article XVI of this constitution: The ballot language shall be so prescribed and the secretary of state shall cause the ballots so to be printed as to permit an affirmative or negative vote upon each law, section of law, or item in a law appropriating money, or proposed law, or proposed amendment to the constitution. The style of all laws submitted by initiative and supplementary petition shall be: “Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Ohio,” and of all constitutional amendments: “Be it Resolved by the People of the State of Ohio.” The basis upon which the required number of petitioners in any case shall be determined shall be the total number of votes cast for the office of governor at the last preceding election therefore. The foregoing provisions of this section shall be self-executing, except as herein otherwise provided. Laws may be passed to facilitate their operation but in no way limiting or restricting either such provisions or the powers herein reserved.

(1912, am. 1971, 1978, 2008)

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Election and Term of State Legislators

Representatives shall be elected biennially by the electors of the respective House of Representatives districts; their term of office shall commence on the first day of January next thereafter and continue two years. Senators shall be elected by the electors of the respective Senate districts; their terms of office shall commence on the first day of January next after their election. All terms of senators which commence on the first day of January, 1969 shall be four years, and all terms which commence on the first day of January, 1971 shall be four years. Thereafter, except for the filling of vacancies for unexpired terms, senators shall be elected to and hold office for terms of four years. No person shall hold the office of State Senator for a period longer than two successive terms of four years. No person shall hold the office of State Representative for a period longer than four successive terms of two years. Terms shall be considered successive unless separated by a period of four or more years. Only terms beginning on or after January 1, 1993 shall be considered in determining an individual’s eligibility to hold office. In determining the eligibility of an individual to hold office in accordance with this article, (A) time spent in an office in fulfillment of a term to which another person was first elected shall not be considered provided that a period of at least four years passed between the time, if any, in which the individual previously held that office, and the time the individual is elected or appointed to fulfill the unexpired term; and (B) a person who is elected to an office in a regularly scheduled general election and resigns prior to the completion of the term for which he or she was elected, shall be considered to have served the full term in that office.

(1967, am. 1992)

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Residence Requirements for State Legislators

Senators and representatives shall have resided in their respective districts one year next preceding their election, unless they shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this state.

(1851, am. 1967)

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Dual Office and Conflict of Interest Prohibited

No member of the General Assembly shall, during the term for which he was elected, unless during such term he resigns therefrom, hold any public office under the United States, or this state, or a political subdivision thereof; but this provision does not extend to officers of a political party, notaries public, or officers of the militia or of the United States armed forces. No member of the General Assembly shall, during the term for which he was elected, or for one year thereafter, be appointed to any public office under this state, which office was created or the compensation of which was increased, during the term for which he was elected.

(1851, am. 1973)

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Who Shall Not Hold Office

No person hereafter convicted of an embezzlement of the public funds, shall hold any office in this state; nor shall any person, holding public money for disbursement, or otherwise, have a seat in the General Assembly, until he shall have accounted for, and paid such money into the treasury.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Powers of Each House

Each house shall be the judge of the election, returns, and qualifications of its own members. A majority of all the members elected to each house shall be a quorum to do business; but, a less number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as shall be prescribed by law. Each house may punish its members for disorderly conduct and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the members elected thereto, expel a member, but not the second time for the same cause. Each house has all powers necessary to provide for its safety and the undisturbed transaction of its business, and to obtain, through committees or otherwise, information affecting legislative action under consideration or in contemplation, or with reference to any alleged breach of its privileges or misconduct of its members, and to that end to enforce the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the production of books and papers.

(1851, am. 1973)

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Organization of Each House of the General Assembly

The mode of organizing each house of the General Assembly shall be prescribed by law. Each house, except as otherwise provided in this constitution, shall choose its own officers. The presiding officer in the Senate shall be designated as president of the Senate and in the House of Representatives as speaker of the House of Representatives. Each house shall determine its own rules of proceeding.

(1851, am. 1973)

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Sessions of the General Assembly

Each General Assembly shall convene in first regular session on the first Monday of January in the odd-numbered year, or on the succeeding day if the first Monday of January is a legal holiday, and in second regular session on the same date of the following year. Either the governor, or the presiding officers of the General Assembly chosen by the members thereof, acting jointly, may convene the General Assembly in special session by a proclamation which may limit the purpose of the session. If the presiding officer of the Senate is not chosen by the members thereof, the president pro tempore of the Senate may act with the speaker of the House of Representatives in the calling of a special session.

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

House and Senate Journals (Yeas and Nays)

Each house shall keep a correct journal of its proceedings, which shall be published. At the desire of any two members, the yeas and nays shall be entered upon the journal; and, on the passage of every bill, in either house, the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered upon the journal.

(1851, am. 1973)

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Rights of Members to Protest

Any member of either house shall have the right to protest against any act, or resolution thereof; and such protest, and the reasons therefore, shall without alteration, commitment, or delay, be entered upon the journal.

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Filling Vacancy in House or Senate Seat

A vacancy in the Senate or in the House of Representatives for any cause, including the failure of a member-elect to qualify for office, shall be filled by election by the members of the Senate or the members of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who are affiliated with the same political party as the person last elected by the electors to the seat which has become vacant. A vacan-cy occurring before or during the first twenty months of a Senatorial term shall be filled temporarily by election as provided in this section, for only that portion of the term which will expire on the thirty-first day of December following the next general election occurring in an even-numbered year after the vacancy occurs, at which election the seat shall be filled by the electors as provided by law for the remaining, unexpired portion of the term, the member-elect so chosen to take office on the first day in January next following such election. No person shall be elected to fill a vacancy in the Senate or House of Representatives, as the case may be, unless he meets the qualifications set forth in this constitution and the laws of this state for the seat in which the vacancy occurs. An election to fill a vacancy shall be accomplished, notwithstanding the provisions of section 27, Article II of this constitution, by the adoption of a resolution, while the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, is in session, with the taking of the yeas and nays of the members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, affiliated with the same political party as the person last elected to the seat in which the vacancy occurs. The adoption of such resolution shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members elected to the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, entitled to vote thereon. Such vote shall be spread upon the journal of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, and certified to the secretary of state by the clerk thereof. The secretary of state shall, upon receipt of such certification, issue a certificate of election to the person so elected and upon presentation of such certificate to the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, the person so elected shall take the oath of office and become a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, for the term for which he was so elected.

(1851, am. 1961, 1968, 1973)

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Privilege of Members from Arrest and of Speech

Senators and representatives, during the session of the General Assembly, and in going to, and returning from the same, shall be privileged from arrest, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace; and for any speech, or debate, in either house, they shall not be questioned elsewhere.

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Legislative Sessions to Be Public; Exceptions

The proceedings of both houses shall be public, except in cases which, in the opinion of two-thirds of those present, require secrecy.

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Power of Adjournment

Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than five days, Sundays excluded; nor to any other place than that, in which the two houses are in session.

(1851, am. 1973)

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

How Bills Shall be Passed

(A) The General Assembly shall enact no law except by bill, and no bill shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of the members elected to each house. Bills may originate in either house, but may be altered, amended, or rejected in the other.

(B) The style of the laws of this state shall be, “be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Ohio.”

(C) Every bill shall be considered by each house on three different days, unless two-thirds of the members elected to the house in which it is pending suspend this requirement, and every individual consideration of a bill or action sus- pending the requirement shall be re-corded in the journal of the respective house. No bill may be passed until the bill has been reproduced and distributed to members of the house in which it is pending and every amendment been made available upon a member’s request.

(D) No bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title. No law shall be revived or amended unless the new act contains the entire act revived, or the section or sections amended, and the section or sections amended shall be repealed.

(E) Every bill which has passed both houses of the General Assembly shall be signed by the presiding officer of each house to certify that the procedural requirements for passage have been met and shall be presented forthwith to the governor for his approval.

(F) Every joint resolution which has been adopted in both houses of the General Assembly shall be signed by the presiding officer of each house to certify that the procedural requirements for adoption have been met and shall forthwith be filed with the secretary of state.

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Bills to Be Signed by Governor; Veto

If the governor approves an act, he shall sign it, it becomes law and he shall file it with the secretary of state. If he does not approve it, he shall return it with his objections in writing, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and may then reconsider the vote on its passage. If three-fifths of the members elected to the house of origin vote to repass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections of the governor, to the other house, which may also reconsider the vote on its passage. If three fifths of the members elected to the second house vote to repass it, it becomes law notwithstanding the objections of the governor, and the presiding officer of the second house shall file it with the secretary of state. In no case shall a bill be repassed by a smaller vote than is required by the constitution on its original passage. In all cases of reconsideration the vote of each house shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered upon the journal. If a bill is not returned by the governor within ten days, Sundays excepted, after being presented to him, it becomes law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly by adjournment prevents its return; in which case, it becomes law unless, within ten days after such adjournment, it is filed by him, with his objections in writing, in the office of the secretary of state. The governor shall file with the secretary of state every bill not returned by him to the house of origin that becomes law without his signature. The governor may disapprove any item or items in any bill making an appropriation of money and the item or items, so disapproved, shall be void, unless repassed in the manner prescribed by this section for the repassage of a bill.

(1851, am. 1903, 1912, 1973)

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Repealed

Referred to the signing of all bills and joint resolutions by the presiding officer of each house.

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Repealed

Referred to the style of laws.

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Repealed

Referred to the exclusion of senators and representatives from appointment to any civil office of this state.

Section 20

Text of Section 20:

Term of Office, and Compensation of Officers in Certain Cases

The General Assembly, in cases not provided for in this constitution, shall fix the term of office and the compensation of all officers; but no change therein shall affect the salary of any officer during his existing term, unless the office be abolished.

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Contested Elections

The General Assembly shall determine, by law, before what authority, and in what manner elections shall be conducted.

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Appropriations

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, except in pursuance of a specific appropriation, made by law; and no appropriation shall be made for a longer period than two years.

Section 23

Text of Section 23:

Impeachments; How Instituted and Conducted

The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a majority of the members elected must concur therein. Impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; and the senators, when sitting for that purpose, shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators.

Section 24

Text of Section 24:

Officers Liable to Impeachment; Consequences

The governor, judges, and all state officers, may be impeached for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office under the authority of this state. The party impeached, whether convicted or not, shall be liable to indictment, trial, and judgment, according to law.

Section 25

Text of Section 25:

Repealed

When sessions shall commence.

Section 26

Text of Section 26:

Laws to Have a Uniform Operation

All laws, of a general nature, shall have a uniform operation throughout the state; nor, shall any act, except such as relates to public schools, be passed, to take effect upon the approval of any other authority than the General Assembly, except, as otherwise provided in this constitution.

Section 27

Text of Section 27:

Election and Appointment of Officers; Filling Vacancies

The election and appointment of all officers, and the filling of all vacancies, not otherwise provided for by this constitution, or the constitution of the United States, shall be made in such manner as may be directed by law; but no appointing power shall be exercised by the General Assembly, except as prescribed in this constitution; and in these cases, the vote shall be taken “viva voce.”

(1851, am. 1953)

Section 28

Text of Section 28:

Retroactive Laws

The General Assembly shall have no power to pass retroactive laws, or laws impairing the obligation of contracts; but may, by general laws, authorize courts to carry into effect, upon such terms as shall be just and equitable, the manifest intention of parties, and officers, by curing omissions, defects, and errors, in instruments and proceedings, arising out of their want of conformity with the laws of this state.

Section 29

Text of Section 29:

No Extra Compensation; Exceptions

No extra compensation shall be made to any officer, public agent, or contractor, after the service shall have been rendered, or the contract entered into; nor shall any money be paid, on any claim, the subject matter of which shall not have been provided for by preexisting law, unless such compensation, or claim, be allowed by two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the General Assembly.

Section 30

Text of Section 30:

New Counties

No new county shall contain less than four hundred square miles of territory, nor shall any county be reduced below that amount; and all laws creating new counties, changing county lines, or removing county seats, shall, before taking effect, be submitted to the electors of the several counties to be affected thereby, at the next general election after the passage thereof, and be adopted by a majority of all the electors voting at such election, in each of said counties; but any county now or hereafter containing one hundred thousand inhabitants, may be divided, whenever a majority of the voters residing in each of the proposed divisions shall approve of the law passed for that purpose; but no town or city within the same shall be divided, nor shall either of the divisions contain less than twenty thousand inhabitants.

Section 31

Text of Section 31:

Compensation of Members and Officers of the General Assembly

The members and officers of the General Assembly shall receive a fixed compensation, to be prescribed by law, and no other allowance or perquisites, either in the payment of postage or otherwise; and no change in their compensation shall take effect during their term of office.

Section 32

Text of Section 32:

Divorces and Judicial Power

The General Assembly shall grant no divorce, nor exercise any judicial power not herein expressly conferred.

Section 33

Text of Section 33:

Mechanics' and Contractor's Liens

Laws may be passed to secure to mechanics, artisans, laborers, subcontractors and material men, their just dues by direct lien upon the property, upon which they have bestowed labor or for which they have furnished material. No other provision of the constitution shall impair or limit this power.

Section 34

Text of Section 34:

Welfare of Employees

Laws may be passed fixing and regulating the hours of labor, establishing a minimum wage, and providing for the comfort, health, safety and general welfare of all employes; and no other provision of the constitution shall impair or limit this power.

Section 34a

Text of Section 34a:

Minimum Wage

Except as provided in this section, every employer shall pay their employees a wage rate of not less than six dollars and eighty-five cents per hour beginning January 1, 2007. On the thirtieth day of each September, beginning in 2007, this state minimum wage rate shall be increased effective the first day of the following January by the rate of inflation for the twelve month period prior to that September according to the consumer price index or its successor index for all urban wage earners and clerical workers for all items as calculated by the federal government rounded to the nearest five cents. Employees under the age of sixteen and employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of two hundred fifty thousand dollars or less for the preceding calendar year shall be paid a wage rate of not less than that established under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or its successor law. This gross revenue figure shall be increased each year beginning January 1, 2008 by the change in the consumer price index or its successor index in the same manner as the required annual adjustment in the minimum wage rate set forth above rounded to the nearest one thousand dollars. An employer may pay an employee less than, but not less than half, the minimum wage rate required by this section if the employer is able to demonstrate that the employee receives tips that combined with the wages paid by the employer are equal to or greater than the minimum wage rate for all hours worked. The provisions of this section shall not apply to employees of a solely family owned and operated business who are family members of an owner. The state may issue licenses to employers authorizing payment of a wage rate below that required by this section to individuals with mental or physical disabilities that may otherwise adversely affect their opportunity for employment. As used in this section: “employer,” “employee,” “employ,” “person” and “independent contractor” have the same meanings as under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act or its successor law, except that “employer” shall also include the state and every political subdivision and “employee” shall not include an individual employed in or about the property of the employer or individual’s residence on a casual basis. Only the exemptions set forth in this section shall apply to this section. An employer shall at the time of hire provide an employee the employer’s name, address, telephone number, and other contact information and update such information when it changes. An employer shall maintain a record of the name, address, occupation, pay rate, hours worked for each day worked and each amount paid an employee for a period of not less than three years following the last date the employee was employed. Such information shall be provided without charge to an employee or person acting on behalf of an employee upon request. An employee, person acting on behalf of one or more employees and/or any other interested party may file a complaint with the state for a violation of any provision of this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions. Such complaint shall be promptly investigated and resolved by the state. The employee’s name shall be kept confidential unless disclosure is necessary to resolution of a complaint and the employee consents to disclosure. The state may on its own initiative investigate an employer’s compliance with this section and any law or regulation implementing its provisions. The employer shall make available to the state any records related to such investigation and other information required for enforcement of this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions. No employer shall discharge or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee for exercising any right under this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions or against any person for providing assistance to an employee or information regarding the same. An action for equitable and monetary relief may be brought against an employer by the attorney general and/or an employee or person acting on behalf of an employee or all similarly situated employees in any court of competent jurisdiction, including the common pleas court of an employee’s county of residence, for any violation of this section or any law or regulation implementing its provisions within three years of the violation or of when the violation ceased if it was of a continuing nature, or within one year after notification to the employee of final disposition by the state of a complaint for the same violation, whichever is later. There shall be no exhaustion requirement, no procedural, pleading or burden of proof requirements beyond those that apply generally to civil suits in order to maintain such action and no liability for costs or attorney’s fees on an employee except upon a finding that such action was frivolous in accordance with the same standards that apply generally in civil suits. Where an employer is found by the state or a court to have violated any provision of this section, the employer shall within thirty days of the finding pay the employee back wages, damages, and the employee’s costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. Damages shall be calculated as an additional two times the amount of the back wages and in the case of a violation of an anti-retaliation provision an amount set by the state or court sufficient to compensate the employee and deter future violations, but not less than one hundred fifty dollars for each day that the violation continued. Payment under this paragraph shall not be stayed pending any appeal. This section shall be liberally construed in favor of its purposes. Laws may be passed to implement its provisions and create additional remedies, increase the minimum wage rate and extend the coverage of the section, but in no manner restricting any provision of the section or the power of municipalities under Article XVIII of this constitution with respect to the same. If any part of this section is held invalid, the remainder of the section shall not be affected by such holding and shall continue in full force and effect.

Section 35

Text of Section 35:

Workers' Compensation

For the purpose of providing compensation to workmen and their dependents, for death, injuries or occupational disease, occasioned in the course of such workmen’s employment, laws may be passed establishing a state fund to be created by compulsory contribution thereto by employers, and administered by the state, determining the terms and conditions upon which payment shall be made therefrom. Such compensation shall be in lieu of all other rights to compensation, or damages, for such death, injuries, or occupational disease, and any employer who pays the premium or compensation provided by law, passed in accordance herewith, shall not be liable to respond in damages at common law or by statute for such death, injuries or occupational disease. Laws may be passed establishing a board which may be empowered to classify all occupations, according to their degree of hazard, to fix rates of contribution to such fund according to such classification, and to collect, administer and distribute such fund, and to determine all rights of claimants thereto. Such board shall set aside as a separate fund such proportion of the contributions paid by employers as in its judgment may be necessary, not to exceed one per centum thereof in any year, and so as to equalize, insofar as possible, the burden thereof, to be expended by such board in such manner as may be provided by law for the investigation and prevention of industrial accidents and diseases. Such board shall have full power and authority to hear and determine whether or not an injury, disease or death resulted because of the failure of the employer to comply with any specific requirement for the protection of the lives, health or safety of employees, enacted by the General Assembly or in the form of an order adopted by such board, and its decision shall be final; and for the purpose of such investigations and inquiries it may appoint referees. When it is found, upon hearing, that an injury, disease or death resulted because of such failure by the employer, such amount as shall be found to be just, not greater than fifty nor less than fifteen per centum of the maximum award established by law, shall be added by the board, to the amount of the compensation that may be awarded on account of such injury, disease, or death, and paid in like manner as other awards; and, if such compensation is paid from the state fund, the premium of such employer shall be increased in such amount, covering such period of time as may be fixed, as will recoup the state fund in the amount of such additional award, notwithstanding any and all other provisions in this constitution.

(1912, am. 1923)

Section 36

Text of Section 36:

Conservation of Natural Resources

Laws may be passed to encourage forestry and agriculture, and to that end areas devoted exclusively to forestry may be exempted, in whole or in part, from taxation. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2 of Article XII, laws may be passed to provide that land devoted exclusively to agricultural use be valued for real property tax purposes at the current value such land has for such agricultural use. Laws may also be passed to provide for the deferral or recoupment of any part of the difference in the dollar amount of real property tax levied in any year on land valued in accordance with its agricultural use and the dollar amount of real property tax which would have been levied upon such land had it been valued for such year in accordance with section 2 of Article XII. Laws may also be passed to provide for converting into forest reserves such lands or parts of lands as have been or may be forfeited to the state, and to authorize the acquiring of other lands for that purpose; also, to provide for the conservation of the natural resources of the state, including streams, lakes, submerged and swamp lands and the development and regulation of water power and the formation of drainage and conservation districts; and to provide for the regulation of methods of mining, weighing, measuring and marketing coal, oil, gas and all other minerals.

(1912, am. 1973)

Section 37

Text of Section 37:

Workday and Workweek on Public Projects

Except in cases of extraordinary emergency, not to exceed eight hours shall constitute a day’s work, and not to exceed forty-eight hours a week’s work, for workmen engaged on any public work carried on or aided by the state, or any political subdivision thereof, whether done by contract, or otherwise.

Section 38

Text of Section 38:

Removal of Officials for Misconduct

Laws shall be passed providing for the prompt removal from office, upon complaint and hearing, of all officers, including state officers, judges and members of the General Assembly, for any misconduct involving moral turpitude or for other cause provided by law; and this method of removal shall be in addition to impeachment or other method of removal authorized by the constitution.

Section 39

Text of Section 39:

Regulating Expert Testimony in Criminal Trials

Laws may be passed for the regulation of the use of expert witnesses and expert testimony in criminal trials and proceedings.

Section 40

Text of Section 40:

Registering and Warranting Land Titles

Laws may be passed providing for a system of registering, transferring, insuring and guaranteeing land titles by the state or by the counties thereof, and for settling and determining adverse or other claims to and interests in, lands the titles to which are so registered, insured or guaranteed, and for the creation and collection of guaranty funds by fees to be assessed against lands, the titles to which are registered; and judicial powers with right of appeal may by law be conferred upon county recorders or other officers inmatters arising under the operation of such system.

Section 41

Text of Section 41:

Prison Labor

Laws may be passed providing for and regulating the occupation and employment of prisoners sentenced to the several penal institutions and reformatories in the state.

(1912, am. 1978)

Section 42

Text of Section 42:

Continuity of Government Operations in Emergencies Caused by Enemy Attack

The General Assembly shall have the power and the immediate duty to pass laws to provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices and to pass such other laws as may be necessary and proper for insuring the continuity of governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack.

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