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Richard Schulte
Richard Schulte
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Ohio High Court Strikes Down Veto of Lead Paint Bill

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In a 5-2 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down Gov. Ted Strickland’s veto of a bill prohibiting lawsuits against the the manufactures of lead paint.

The legislation says paint manufacturers can’t be sued under public nuisance laws, which some U.S. cities have used to try to force companies to help pay for the removal of lead-based paint in older homes. Strickland vetoed the bill because he felt it stripped consumers of the right to seek damages from the companies, his spokesman said.

In his majority opinion, Justice Robert R. Cupp said the 10-day time limit for vetoes laid out in the Constitution begins ticking when a legislative session is adjourned rather than when a bill is delivered to the governor. By that count, the opportunity to veto the bill expired on Jan. 6, two days before Strickland acted.

“The governor has concerns about the potential impact on all future governors of this decision on the constitutional veto authority invested in the Office of the Governor,” he said.