Political briefs – July 1

HUSTED SIGNS, CERTIFIES NEW BUSINESS FREE REDUCTION – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today received and signed House Bill 3 in accordance with the Ohio Constitution, which requires the Governor to present enacted bills to the Secretary of State to be filed.

House Bill 3 reduces, at Secretary Husted’s request, the fee associated with starting and maintaining a business in Ohio. The initiative was made possible by Secretary Husted’s strong financial stewardship. Since January 2011, Secretary Husted has saved more than $14 million, representing a 16% reduction in spending over the previous administration.

“The Secretary of State’s office is leaner, more efficient and more effective than it was four years ago, and I now have the opportunity to share our success with the people we serve by making Ohio the least expensive state in the region to start and maintain a business,” Secretary Husted said.

Secretary Husted was joined by leaders and members of Ohio’s Urban Leagues, who were early supporters of the initiative.

ESPONSIBLEOHIO SUBMITS 695,273 PETITION SIGNATURES TO SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE – ResponsibleOhio yesterday delivered 695,273 petition signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, including 2,473 signatures from Crawford County, to qualify for the November 2015 ballot.

“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication our team has shown in gathering this many signatures,” said ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James. “With yesterday’s filing, ResponsibleOhio took the last critical step toward qualifying for the November 2015 ballot. We look forward to continuing our conversation with voters about the urgency of marijuana reform, the critical need to offer patients access to medical marijuana and the thousands of jobs that will be created by legalizing marijuana.”

By the time the legal marijuana market stabilizes in 2020, ResponsibleOhio projects that the industry will generate $554 million in new tax revenue statewide. Crawford County and its municipal governments are projected to receive a total of $1,690,942 in new tax revenue each year should the amendment pass.

Projections show the marijuana industry in Ohio will create ample opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment, with around 10,000 jobs predicted statewide. Ohioans will have the opportunity to own and operate one of the state’s 1,150 retail stores or additional medical dispensaries, testing labs or product manufacturing facilities. There will be new employment opportunities at these facilities and at each of the state’s 10 growing facilities.

ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Legalization Amendment will legalize marijuana for medical use and personal use by adults 21 years of age and older.