ELECTION: Marsy’s law passes, drug pricing fails


By Jason Hawk - jhawk@aimmediamidwest.com



A sweeping victory for victims’ rights was delivered Tuesday with the passage of State Issue 1.

“Marsy’s Law” amendmends the Ohio Constitution to give victims more power over trial and sentencing proceedings, though critics say it unjustly curtails the rights of the accused, denying equal protection under the law.

Across Ohio, the measure received 1,895,540 votes of support (82.59 percent) and 399,696 votes in opposition (17.41 percent), according to unofficial election night returns.

Here in Lorain County, the margin was almost identical — 43,377 for Issue 1 (80.69 percent) and 10,379 against (19.31 percent).

State Issue 2, a messy and money-ridden fight over prescription drug prices, was soundly by the same landslide numbers.

Supporters sought to force Ohio public entities — namely the Medicaid program — to buy prescription drugs at a rate less than or equal to the rates locked in by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Pharmaceutical companies funded a big money campaign fighting the measure, outspending their opponents nearly four to one.

As of Oct. 30, the two campaigns spent a combined $75 million, setting a record for the most expensive ballot issue in Ohio history.

Voters faced a challenge, wading through conflicting claims and complicated analyses that made an informed decision just about impossible. This fall, a SurveyUSA poll showed slightly more than half of respondents undecided.

Voters cast 474,741 ballots in support of the issue statewide (20.72 percent) and 1,816,074 against (79.28 percent).

In Lorain County, there were only 12,276 votes for Issue 2 (22.86 percent) and an overwhelming 41,416 opposing it (77.14 percent).

Three tax issues also went before all Lorain County voters on Tuesday:

ISSUE 3

A 0.065-mil renewal for the county’s legally-required tuberculosis treatment services, generating $416,339 per year.

FOR —30,813 (58.28 percent)

AGAINST —22,056 (41.72 percent)

ISSUE 4

A 0.5-mill renewal for the county’s 911 emergency dispatch system, generating $3.2 million each year.

FOR — 37,468 (70.15 percent)

AGAINST — 15,942 (29.85 percent)

ISSUE 5

A 0.08-mill renewal for the Lorain County Drug Task Force, generating $512,417 per year.

FOR — 35,473 (66.36 percent)

AGAINST — 17,982 (33.64 percent)

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@aimmediamidwest.com