On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Ohio voters will go to the ballot box to decide two statewide issues. Issue 1. Marsy's Law, would change Ohio's Constitution to include several rights for victims and their families. Issue 2, the Drug Price Standards Initiative, would require state agencies and programs to purchase prescription drugs at prices no higher than what the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs pays for them.
While OCSEA hasn't taken a stance on these issues, the union encourages members to do their research before voting. See a side-by-side comparison of both issues below:
Issue 1, also known as Marsy's Law, would change Ohio's Constitution to include several new rights for victims and their families.
Here is what proponents and opponents say the ballot measure will do:
This law gives victims and families constitutional rights and more legal recourse, especially when the law is not being followed.
Extended rights include timely notification of all court proceedings; the ability to be present and heard at all court proceedings; a prompt conclusion of the case; ability to refuse an interview or other requests made by the accused in most cases; notice when the accused is released or escapes; money from the convicted for harm caused, such as compensation for stolen items; information about the services available to crime victims.
Similar successful initiatives have been passed in four other states.
- The amendment would hinder court proceedings and violate the rights of the accused. This is something both prosecuting and defense attorneys agree on.
- There are already ample victims’ rights protections in Ohio, including a Constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly in 1994 and victim protections passed by the state legislature.
- Legal roadblocks in states with similar initiatives continue to delay protections.
Ohio Issue 2, the Drug Price Standards Initiative, requires the state and state agencies to pay the same or lower prices for drugs as the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA typically pays 24 percent less for drug prices than other federal agencies do. The statewide issue is on the ballot for Ohio voters this November.
Here’s what proponents and opponents say the ballot measure will do:
- Bringing drug prices down for the drugs Ohio buys, including for Medicaid, would have a ripple effect throughout Ohio, bringing drug prices down for everyone.
- Drug prices didn't go up for the rest of us when the VA negotiated cheaper prices.
- If the state is saving money on drug costs, then the drug companies will look to make up the profits by shifting that cost onto the rest of Ohioans with private insurance.
- It’s impossible to enforce the measure since some of the VA’s contracts with drug companies are not public record, so there would be no way to know what the VA pays for some drugs.
- Medicaid drugs already get a 23.1 percent federally-mandated discount.
- A legal provision would require taxpayers to foot the bill for any legal challenges against if it becomes law.