Proposed Ohio constitutional amendment would end qualified immunity for state workers

Qualified immunity protects state workers such as police officers from civil lawsuits.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 2:33 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2023 at 7:11 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - A group hoping to end qualified immunity for state workers in Ohio resubmitted paperwork this week to try and put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. Qualified immunity protects state employees, including police officers, from civil lawsuits.

For the third time this year, the Ohio Coalition to End Qualified Immunity submitted a petition to the attorney general’s office. The group’s two previous petitions were rejected.

Attorney General Dave Yost’s office is tasked with determining if the petition is a “fair and truthful representation” of the proposal. Yost’s office has said the prior petitions didn’t meet that requirement and has until August 18 to certify this latest petition. If it is certified, the ballot board would then have to decide whether the amendment is a single issue or if it should be divided into multiple issues.

The group says roughly 420,000 signatures would need to be collected by the first week of July for it to qualify to go before voters in November 2024.

“The OCEQI reaffirms its commitment to holding the government accountable when constitutional rights are violated, ensuring that Ohioans are protected and heard,” the group said in a statement.

See a listing of petitions submitted to the Ohio Attorney General at the link here.