By JIM MAURER
State Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would reduce low-level felony drug possession offenses to misdemeanors in Ohio, came under fire Friday when Republican candidates spoke at a GOP lunch in Findlay.
The amendment will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.
State Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, said State Issue 1 “would be a disaster for Ohio.”
Hancock County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Starn said the state issue has “nothing to do with drug treatment” and would put hundreds of convicted felony drug offenders back on the streets because of reduced sentences.
If passed, the issue also would become part of the state Constitution and would be difficult to remove, Starn said.
Speaking on other issues, McColley said he wants to determine how the state “can help long term” with the flood-mitigation efforts in Hancock County.
He also said several laws passed by the state Senate, and now being considered in the Ohio House, would reduce job losses to neighboring states.
“Ohio is one of the most regulated states,” he said, and if approved, Senate Bill 293 would eliminate some of those regulations.
Another Senate bill, 255, would require a review of workforce license requirements every five years. He said 20 percent of the workforce in the state requires a license to work at certain jobs.
The goal of this pro-business legislation, he said, is to promote the state not only as a place to work, but to start and grow a business. Too much business is being lost to neighboring states, McColley said.
McColley will face Democrat Adam Papin in the November election in the 1st Senate District.
Republican Jon Cross, who is running for the 83rd District seat in the Ohio House, said he also wants to help make the state “business friendly” and more job-competitive with neighboring states.
Infrastructure improvements and increased community safety funding are additional issues he wants to work on if elected, Cross said.
Cross, of Kenton, will face Democrat Mary Harshfield of Findlay in November.
Judge Starn is unopposed in the general election, as is Hancock County Commissioner Tim Bechtol.
Friday’s lunch, hosted by the Hancock County Republican Party, was held at St. Marks United Methodist Church.
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