Press Release

HB 507 is unconstitutional, says OEC Law Center

COLUMBUS, OH — Today, the Ohio Environmental Council’s Law Center submitted a letter to Governor Mike DeWine identifying the unconstitutionality of HB 507 and requesting a veto. Last week, the Ohio General Assembly submitted HB 507 to the Governor for his signature, but the bill contains multiple unrelated subjects, including:

  • food safety;
  • poultry; 
  • oil and gas leasing on state public lands;
  • a new definition of “green energy;”
  • vehicle towing and storage authorizations for law enforcement;
  • local preemption of pesticide use; and
  • internet sales exemption from auction laws. 

By including multiple, wholly unrelated subjects in HB 507, the Ohio General Assembly violated Article II, Section 15(D) of the Ohio Constitution, which requires bills to only have one subject. In addition, the Ohio General Assembly violated Article II, Section 15(C) of the Ohio Constitution when, following significant amendments, it did not consider the bill an additional three times in the Ohio House.

To help ensure Governor DeWine is aware of HB 507’s constitutional violations, the OEC Law Center submitted a letter to his office, which can be read online.

The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Nathan Johnson, Public Lands Director for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“HB 507 is unconstitutional, a reality Governor DeWine must consider when deciding whether to sign or veto this bill. The Ohio General Assembly knew Ohioans would oppose defining natural gas as green energy and mandating oil and gas leasing on public lands, so legislators rushed HB 507 through at the last minute, logrolling wildly disparate subjects together. Yet Article II, Section 15 of the Ohio Constitution prohibits precisely these types of bills. Governor DeWine should veto HB 507 because it threatens our state parks and public lands—and because it violates Ohio’s constitution.”

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The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.

Contact:
Marisa Twigg, Ohio Environmental Council, mtwigg@theoec.org