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Groups File Signatures for Drug Addiction Treatment, Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Amendments

photo of hospital hallway

It was a busy holiday for groups that want voters to approve two new constitutional amendments this fall. Both proposals got thousands of petition signatures, but they also both have their critics.

Backers of the Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment submitted more than twice the 305,000 signatures needed. That amendment would reclassify the lowest-level drug felonies as no worse than misdemeanors and require more state money for addiction treatment.

The other, the Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Amendment, would require annual inspections of clinics, limit how much they can charge and impose penalties for overcharging patients. A group of dialysis clinics and medical groups are opposing that union-backed effort as deceptive and unnecessary.

And opponents of the drug crimes amendment say state lawmakers should handle that, because it doesn’t belong in the constitution.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.