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Ohio Supreme Court says VLTs must go to ballot

September 21, 2009

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The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled, 6-1, that the question of installing video lottery terminals at the state’s seven commercial racetracks must be put before voters, and gave the plaintiffs in the case, letohiovote.org, 90 days to pursue the gathering of signatures.
Governor Ted Strickland had put an order to install lottery terminals into the state’s 2010-2011 biennial budget after having been advised that making it part of an appropriations bill meant their installation would not be subject to referendum. Ohio’s constitution exempts appropriations bills from such referenda, but the court in its decision, said “We are not unmindful of the effect our decision may have on the state budget, nor of the commendable efforts of the members of the executive and legislative branches of state government to fulfill their constitutional duties to balance the budget in Ohio…however, our own constitutional duty is to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Ohio Constitution irrespective of their effect on the state's current financial conditions."
The VLT question would not appear on the Ohio ballot, at the earliest, until May, 2010. (USTA)
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