‘Nursing Facility Patients’ Bill of Rights’ Summary Language Rejected

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office today rejected the summary language for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution which would require certain staff-to-patient ratios in nursing facilities and require certain minimum daily amounts of direct care to nursing facility patients.

On November 25, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled “The Nursing Facility Patients’ Bill of Rights,” from the attorney representing the petitioning committee. The attorney general’s role is to determine whether the petition summary is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed amendment.

response letter sent to the petitioners today states, “the summary fails altogether to inform potential signers and voters of the factual findings they are being asked to make. This omission is especially egregious because, in the event the proposed amendment passes, these findings will be enshrined in the Ohio Constitution and could carry significant legal weight. As written, the summary fails to inform signers what factual findings they are elevating to a constitutional standard.”

“For this reason, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in the letter.

The attorney general does not express an opinion as to the advisability or constitutionality of the proposed ballot measure. The full text of the letter to petitioners and the petition can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Petitions.

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