Cincinnati Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Issue 11, Eliminating Mayor's Pocket Veto

The new rule somewhat limits the mayor's power, but it was current mayor Aftab Pureval who proposed the change.

Cincinnati voters pass Issue 11, preventing a mayoral "pocket veto" in the city. - Photo: Jesse Fox
Photo: Jesse Fox
Cincinnati voters pass Issue 11, preventing a mayoral "pocket veto" in the city.

Voters in Cincinnati have decided with broad approval to eliminate the mayor's ability to stall legislation through a loophole known as the pocket veto.

As of 11:30 p.m. with 92% of precincts reporting, 80% of Cincinnati voters approved Issue 11, according to the Associated Press. Results are preliminary until certified in about two weeks.

Issue 11 asked voters to decide the future of the mayor’s pocket veto, the loophole in a charter amendment that allows the mayor of Cincinnati to postpone legislation indefinitely without discussion from Cincinnati City Council.

The mayor will now have to refer legislation to the proper committee within four scheduled meetings of it being filed — about four weeks. The head of that committee would then be required to place the legislation on the agenda for any of the subsequent four meetings, which could take up to eight weeks. The legislation then would leave committee and go to the full council, again within the span of four scheduled meetings.

Previously, the mayor was permitted to simply fail to pass the legislation to committee, stopping the whole process. Cincinnati has seen the loophole used in the past. Mayor Mark Mallory used the pocket veto in 2006 to block a vote on making his office budget bear the expense for the mayor’s bodyguard.

While the passage of Issue 11 somewhat limits the power of the current mayor Aftab Pureval, it was Pureval himself who proposed the change in September, along with council members Mark Jeffreys and Jeff Cramerding.


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