Protect Ohio’s Ability to Fund Construction Bonds Vote No on Issue 1

This document is for general information purposes and should not be regarded as legal advice. Readers should not act on information contained in this newsletter without seeking legal counsel.

On Tuesday, August 8th, Ohioans will have the opportunity to cast their vote on Issue 1, a proposal that seeks to require a 60% super-majority for passing any constitutional amendments in Ohio. This simple change could have a significant impact on the practice of architecture.

Ohio’s debt limit has been capped at $750,000 by its constitution since 1851. This has required constitutional amendments to increase funding for many programs and issues including construction bonds.  When bonds are needed for new infrastructure construction or capital improvements, Ohio’s constitution requires that citizens vote to approve the funding.

Ballot initiatives such as affordable housing loans and grants, Ohio’s Third Frontier Fund, and the Clean Ohio Fund are examples of programs that were approved by a majority of citizens of Ohio and have had positive impacts on the design and construction industry. However, none of these would have passed if the proposed 60% threshold had been required.

Construction funding initiatives are vital to the growth and development of our communities. They enable the improvement of infrastructure, schools, parks, and other essential public amenities. Historically, constitutional amendments seldom pass by a significant margin, and many times, by only a few percentage points.  Capital funding via constitutional amendments is critical to the success of the construction industry, architecture firms and their employees.

AIA Ohio urges members to vote no on Issue 1. If passed, this amendment will likely have a significant and devastating effect on the architecture profession by setting the threshold to approve project funding too high and making it too difficult to meet. We ask that when you vote on August 8, you vote in your best interest and in the best interest of the profession.