The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018

Ohio A-G rejects short-term loan petition

Submitted information

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has rejected a petition for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would establish new regulations for short-term loans.

Mike DeWine

On February 28, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled the “Short-Term Loan Consumer Protection Amendment,” from the attorney representing the petitioning committee.

The summary was rejected for several reasons, including:

  • The summary language stating “contracts for short term loans cannot be for a longer time period than the original loan amount…” conflicts with amendment language stating “the minimum duration of a short-term loan shall be the number of months equal to the sum of the originally contracted loan amount.”
  • The summary language regarding loans exempted from the definition of “short-term loans” conflicts with the amendment language exemptions.
  • The summary language regarding a notice on electronic funds authorization revocations does not exist in the amendment language, referring instead only to contract provisions.
  • The summary does not reflect the proposed amendment’s provision that the “General Assembly may, but is not required to, enact legislation to license persons to make short-term loans.”
  • The summary fails to mention that Section (C)(4) of the proposed amendment requires a licensee to “make a reasonable attempt to verify the borrower’s income prior to initiating the loan.”
  • The summary omits amendment language stating the amendment would take effect 365 days after it is approved by voters.

“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stated in his letter rejecting the petition. “However, I must caution that this letter is not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary.”

In order for a constitutional amendment to proceed, an initial petition containing summary language of the amendment and 1,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General. Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board would determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.

The full text of the letter and of the initiative petitions submitted can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Petitions.

POSTED: 03/12/18 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: News