Issue 1 passes, Issue 2 fails after expensive campaign
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohioans have voted to expand crime victims' rights to more closely match those of the accused.
Approval of Issue 1 Tuesday places the new guarantees into the state constitution. They include notice of court proceedings, input on plea deals and the ability for victims and their families to tell their story.
Dubbed Marsy's Law for Ohio, the measure was championed by California billionaire Henry Nicholas, whose sister was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend.
The campaign had spent $16.5 million as of mid-October on its effort, which included an ad featuring "Frazier" actor Kelsey Grammer.
The effort faced no organized opposition. However, the state public defender, the state prosecuting attorneys' association and the ACLU all raised concerns over unintended consequences and urged Ohioans to vote "no."
Ohio voters have rejected a ballot measure seeking to curb prescription drug prices paid by the state for prisoners, injured workers and poor people. Opponents of Issue 2 said voters were "loud and clear" and called the result a "landslide" Tuesday night.
The campaign fight over Issue 2, dubbed the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, was the most expensive in state history.
The measure would have required the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs' lowest price, which is often deeply discounted.
The pharmaceutical industry spent more than $50 million to oppose the measure, saying it would reduce access to medicines and raise prices for veterans and others.
"What sounds too good to be true," said Curt Steiner with the No on Issue 2 campaign. "Indeed Issue 2 would not have lowered drug prices or saved the state money, as proponents repeatedly promised without foundation. Money doesn't buy elections. People are paying attention. They pay attention to this issue because it's a personal issue and as a result, after taking a close look at it, seeing all the facts, they made the decision to vote no."
Supporters, led by the California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, spent close to $20 million in support, saying it would save the state millions and could force the industry to reduce prices elsewhere. Supporters of Issue 2 said they are looking at getting a similar measure on the ballot in South Dakota and Washington DC.