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Ohio amendments on community rights clear ballot board

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two proposed ballot issues that supporters say would restore Ohio communities' rights to challenge corporate incursions have been cleared for signature-gathering.

The Ohio Ballot Board certified the Ohio Community Rights Amendment and a companion measure extending initiative and referendum rights to counties and townships on Tuesday, each as a single issue.

Backers now must collect roughly 306,000 valid signatures to place each issue on the ballot.

The push stems from mounting frustration among environmental groups that have failed for years to push fracking bans onto local ballots. Activist groups now want to make it easier to pass local regulations on predatory lending, puppy mills, wireless equipment location, minimum wages and a host of other issues.

Leading Ohio business groups oppose the measures as overly broad impediments to economic development.

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