(WKBN) – The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) issued a statement Wednesday sharing its disappointment in the rejection of Ohio Issue 1.

If passed, the proposal would have made it more difficult for voters to amend the state constitution, including one measure set for the November ballot that would guarantee abortion rights in the state. But restaurant leaders say implications could impact their industry, too.

There is a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution titled “Raise the Wage of Ohio.” It would do many things. Specifically, it would fast-track increases to the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour (nearly $5 more than the state’s current minimum wage of $10.10 per hour) and it would eliminate the tipped wage over time.

ORA is fighting to keep Ohio’s tipped wage. It says “out-of-state and anti-business groups” are attempting to fast-track increases to Ohio’s entry-level wage, which it says is already indexed for inflation.

“As a business trade association, the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) is disappointed in the
result of the special election on Tuesday, August 8th because of the implications this result could
have on Ohio’s future economic vitality.” the organization wrote in a prepared release.

ORA says that restaurants operate on thin margins and with the pandemic and supply chain issues that remain, many restaurants are “struggling to survive.”

The Ohio Ballot Board has approved the wage increase measure for signature gathering and voters could see the issue on the ballot as soon as November 2024.