Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce announces its opposition to State Issue 1

DAYTON, Ohio (October 2, 2018) – The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce announced today its formal opposition to Ohio State Issue 1, which will appear before voters on November 6, 2018.

Issue 1 would prohibit jail time for 1st and 2nd possession offenses of any illegal drugs in Ohio, including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and others. It would also reduce basic possession of all illegal drugs from a felony charge to a misdemeanor. It’s also bad for business, and is a bad approach to public policy change.

Bad for Business

When asked what’s the biggest challenge facing them today, Dayton Area Chamber members point to hiring skilled workers who can pass a drug test and show up to work every day. Creating an ease of access to federally prohibited drugs will only make this issue worse. Unemployment in the Dayton region dropped below 6 percent this summer, and many jobs remain unfilled.

“If we increase access to illegal drugs, the number of available qualified, clean workers will drop. Our businesses can’t afford to see this problem get worse,” said Chris Kershner, Executive Vice President, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bad Public Policy

Possibly worst of all, Issue 1 is a Constitutional Amendment, which can only be changed or reversed by another Constitutional Amendment.

“Issue 1 is just plain bad public policy,” said Kershner said. “Once again, we find ourselves with legislation introduced by out-of-state interests, using big out-of-state dollars. Issues such as this one deserve to have bi-partisan consideration and debate in our state legislature, not put directly in our state Constitution.”

What we’re doing

Between now and November 6, 2018, the chamber’s public policy team will hold events and advocacy initiatives to get the message out to voters, providing resources to its members, which can be shared with their employees.

One of those events will be held October 24 at 7:30am, when the chamber will host Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Maureen O’Connor. Ms. O’Connor will give insight on Issue 1 and what it will mean for Ohio’s court system and beyond.

The chamber will also join the statewide campaign, providing support in order to defeat Issue 1.

About Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce brings together more than 2,400 businesses and organizations in a 9 county area surrounding Dayton, Ohio. The chamber strives to improve the region’s business climate and overall standard of living through public policy advocacy, economic development initiatives and providing networking and training opportunities for its members. Information about the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is available at or 937-226-1444.