NFIB Opposes Ohio Issue 1, Warns of Consequences

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio office of the National Federation of Independent Business says its members are opposed to State Issue 1, the Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative.

“NFIB is the voice of small business in Ohio because our positions originate with our member ballot,” the organization said in announcing its opposition. After surveying the Ohio membership, it was clear that entrepreneurs were strongly opposed to Issue 1.

Following the ballot, NFIB’s state Leadership Council in Ohio heard arguments for the initiative from both the proponent and opponent sides, and after discussion voted to oppose the issue formally.

“Issue 1 has the potential to significantly damage Ohio’s job development efforts, impacting our state’s economy. A constant theme heard from Ohio employers is they cannot find workers who can pass drug tests to fill vacancies. Issue 1 will further exacerbate this situation,” said Roger Geiger, vice president and executive director for NFIB in Ohio.

If Issue 1 passes, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor sees Ohio ending up with some of the most lenient drug crime laws in the nation, making the state a magnet for substance abuse activity.

“Issue 1’s passage places it in the Ohio Constitution where it can be changed only through another lengthy process and vote of the electorate,” Geiger noted. “We are a representative democracy and issues such as this belong in the state legislature where they can be debated, amended, and receive the necessary input from fellow Ohioans.”

Most NFIB members have strong drug-free workplace policies, according to Geiger. Passage of Issue 1 makes these policies less effective and dilutes the message to employees that drugs do not belong in the workplace, he said.

“The membership of NFIB believes Ohio does not need outside interests telling our citizens what belongs in our constitution and hurting our state’s economy. NFIB strongly urges a no vote on Issue 1.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.