By Marc Kovac
The state ballot board again has given its approval for a group to pursue a constitutional amendment seeking about $13 billion in state borrowing to pay for the expanded use of green-energy innovations.
The entire meeting Monday took about three minutes and was accomplished with one of the panel’s lawmaker members absent.
Yes for Ohio’s Energy Future wants to direct the Legislature to issue $1.3 billion in general obligation bonds annually over a 10-year period. The proceeds would pay for “energy infrastructure capital improvement” including “solar, wind, biomass, battery technology and geothermal facilities.”
That would include research and development activities and commercialization efforts.
Backers of the Ohio Clean Energy Initiative submitted their original proposed amendment in early 2012, then edited the language and restarted the process in November 2013.
A third version was rejected by the attorney general earlier this year, but the latter certified a fourth version earlier this month.
And that prompted the ballot board’s meeting, where members agreed that the proposal could move forward as a single issue. There was little in the way of discussion Monday, with none of the petitioners or members of the public or the board offering comments.
With the ballot board’s action, Yes for Ohio’s Energy Future can begin circulating petitions and collecting signatures. The group will need more than 385,000 valid names in order to qualify for the ballot.
The deadline for this year’s general election passed earlier this month, so the earliest the amendment could be placed before voters is 2015.