MR/DD, library will be on March primary ballot

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Dec. 20 was the deadline to file issues with the Madison County Board of Elections for inclusion on the March 4 primary election ballot. According to Elections Director Timothy Ward, three issues were filed, one of which is countywide.

The Madison County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities is asking county voters to continue their support of MR/DD programs by replacing a 1-mill levy for another five years.

“This levy is for our general operations. It was originally passed in 1988, and we’ve asked for renewals or replacements of it since then,” said Jim Canney, MR/DD superintendent.

The Mount Sterling Public Library is going to the voters for a second attempt at passage of a 1-mill, 10-year levy for operating expenses. The library’s first attempt failed in the November general election. If passed, the tax would apply to property owners in the Madison-Plains Local School District.

Miami Trace Local Schools also is making a repeat attempt at the same levy they asked for in November. The request calls for a 2-mill, 28-year levy for school construction, representing the local share of the district’s planned partnership with Ohio Classroom Facilities Assistance program. The ballot measure also includes 0.5 mill for 23 years for operating expenses and 0.7 mill for 28 years to cover the cost of construction projects not covered under the classroom assistance program. A very small portion of Miami Trace’s eligible voters live in Madison County. The majority live in Fayette County, with others coming from Clinton, Highland, Pickaway and Ross counties.

The deadline to register to vote in the March 4 primary election is Feb. 4. The Board of Elections began accepting applications for absentee ballots on Dec. 5. Absentee ballots will go out after Feb. 8. For more information, call 740-852-9424 or stop by the office at 117 W. High St., London, Suite 102.

In other news, on Dec. 20 the Madison County Board of Elections received its share of signed petitions for a statewide initiative called the Healthy Families Act. Ward said Madison County’s share amounted to 172 part petitions with a total of 525 signatures. The elections office had until Dec. 28 to check the validity of the local signatures and report back to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

The Healthy Families Act calls for employers (with more than 25 employees) to provide at least seven days of paid sick leave each year for employees who work 30 hours or more per week or a pro rata amount of paid sick leave each year for employees who work less than 30 hours per week.

The proposal requires 120,683 valid signatures for submission to the Ohio General Assembly. If the petition contains the minimum number of valid signatures, the General Assembly will have four months to consider the bill. If it amends, rejects or takes no action on the bill, the Healthy Families Coalition has the option to gather more signatures to put the proposal on the November 2008 ballot.

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