CLEVELAND -- The small group of activists making up the group Ethics First does not have a very high opinion of Ohio lawmakers in both parties.
Spokesman Jack Boyle said, "They are remote. They are arrogant. They are self-absorbed. So much of the turmoil we see in 2016 is a result of that."
The group has put forth a proposed ballot issue that would take four separate actions regarding state lawmakers.
It would set the pay as equivalent to the median income for Ohio families.
Right now, Ohio lawmakers earn base pay of $60,584 per year, plus extra bonuses for leadership roles.Theoretically, it's a part-time job.
Many lawmakers have other jobs and other incomes.
Ohio's median family income, according to the last census, was $49,644,
Boyle said, "The purpose is not to cut their pay. The purpose is to make their pay related to what happens to all of us in Ohio. If we're doing well, their pay will go up. If not, it will go down."
The proposal would also prevent lawmakers from exempting themselves from laws.
Boyle points out that state lawmakers work in Columbus, but exempted themselves from paying Columbus city income tax.
It would require legislative records, both paper and electronic, to be kept and accessible.
Boyle claims that, right now, lawmakers could delete embarrassing or damaging official emails with no consequences.
Finally, the proposal would require a two-year waiting period after lawmakers leave office before they could become paid lobbyists.
Boyle claims the group's polling shows "The overwhelming majority would say right on...If this gets on the ballot, it will pass."
The State Ballot Board has okayed language for the proposal.
But Secretary of State Jon Husted thinks the issue should be divided into three separate measures.
That would require triple the work and signatures to get everything on the ballot.
A single measure would require collecting more than 300,000 signatures. That's a formidable task for such a small group.
Ethics First has taken its case to the Ohio Supreme Court, arguing to preserve their proposal in a single ballot issue.
WKYC Channel 3 News spoke with several Ohio lawmakers about this proposal.
They argued the job is not part time. They believe the public does not appreciate the time and expense involved in being a lawmaker and maintaining a small, second home away from home in Columbus.
And they believe passage of this issue would be a deterrent to the already dwindling number of candidates who want this demanding public service job.
Ohio lawmakers are the country's 6th highest paid, behind California, New York , Pennsylvania , Illinois and Michigan.