Cincinnati Casino Amendment Rejected

The Cincinnati Casino Amendment, which threatened to jeopardize the Learn and Earn program to provide college scholarships to Ohio high school students, was rejected by Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro today.

State law requires that a proposed initiated constitutional amendment contain at least one thousand signatures of qualified electors.  The Cincinnati Casino Amendment only contained 893 certified signatures. Over half of the signatures submitted were rejected due to the petitioners' failure to properly file the paperwork.

This is a big loss for Cincinnati Casino lobbyist Gerry Austin. Austin will now need to recollect one thousand signatures and file again for certification with the Attorney General. With the July deadline of over 322,899 signatures needed to place an amendment on the ballot approaching, Cincinnati officials may now decide to back the already certified Learn and Earn amendment.

Click here for more information about Ohio Learn and Earn

Disclaimer: I am currently working as the Online Communications Director for the Ohio Learn and Earn Committee.

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Blackwell, Ohio GOP Flip-Flop on TEL

The Tax and Expenditure Limitation (TEL) amendment is the cornerstone of Ken Blackwell's economic plan.  Blackwell even postponed putting it on the ballot until this year in the interest of helping his own campaign for governor.

But now, as more and more Ohioans of both parties have criticized the amendment, even Blackwell appears to be having second thoughts.  From today's Columbus Dispatch...

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Cincinnati lobbyists banning stuffed animals and ski ball

With the recent filing of the Cincinnati amendment come the sounds of heartbreak of many young children throughout the buckeye state. That's because the Cincinnati Casino amendment's language could forever forbid family dining venues like Chuck E. Cheese or Dave & Busters from being able to provide games of skill as they do today. Gone would be the joy of many arcade-style games. And as those children games are banished, so too would the laughter and joy of children who would no longer be permitted to play skilled games which would allow kids to win a stuff animal at a child's birthday party... Alas, the little ones would still be able to sing songs to their hearts' content, but skill based fun could become a thing of the past for Ohio's kids.

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Learn and Earn Amendment Certified: Free College Tuition in Ohio's Future

Today, the Ohio Learn & Earn amendment which will help bring nearly one billion dollars a year to Ohio children for college education and over $200 million in economic development has been approved by the Attorney General for circulation.

Scholarship dollars will be paid by revenue from slot machines at seven Ohio racetracks and two-downtown Cleveland locations. Unlike the lottery, all of the of the funds will be held by the Ohio Board of Regents in the Ohio Tuition Trust for use only by Ohio students bound for Ohio colleges or universities. The funds will be in each student's name and will be forever protected from misspending politicians and state regulators.

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Ohio: Former RON lobbyists chasing the dollars, jeopardizing scholarships

Less than a year after the end of the bungled Reform Ohio Now campaign, the architects of the amendment, lobbyists Gerald Austin and Paul Tipps* are changing their tune. Once the champions of reducing the influence of money in politics, they are now attempting to influence Cincinnati politicians to get a piece of that money themselves.

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