3/30/11, "Ohio House, Senate approve Senate Bill 5," Cincinnati.com
"The bill passed 53-44 in the Ohio House Wednesday evening. Then, by one vote just before 9:30 p.m., a divided Senate agreed 17-16 to 25 House amendments....
The fight over Senate Bill 5 now will likely shift from the General Assembly to the courts and the polls, as public union leaders push a statewide referendum on the collective bargaining law.
Union officials are gearing up for a Nov. 8 ballot issue that would seek to repeal the bill, which affects 360,000 unionized public workers. Because Senate Bill 5 will affect labor contracts as they expire, union leaders favor a statewide vote this fall instead of waiting until the 2012 presidential election....
Gov. John Kasich, who said he will sign the bill into law, said his $55.5 billion state budget counts on unspecified savings from lifting union protections to plug an $8 billion gap and
- offset $1 billion in proposed cuts to local governments and $3 billion to public schools.
“Senate Bill 5 gives local governments and schools powerful tools to reduce their costs so they can refocus resources on key priorities – like public safety and classroom instruction – while at the same time preserving government workers’ right to unionize and collectively bargain,” Kasich said in a prepared statement.
Obstacles to a 2011 ballot issue include:
• Court challenges. Similar challenges have delayed statewide votes on legalizing casinos or regulating strip clubs.
• The need for unions and others to collect at least 231,147 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters within 90 days of Kasich’s signature. The pending law is put on hold once signatures are filed with the Ohio Secretary of State. The deadline to get on the November ballot is July 6, although there is additional time allowed to collect more valid signatures if others are tossed out.
• Delays in securing Ohio Ballot Board approval of petition language and validating signatures, both of which are controlled by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted and county boards of election.
- Democrats lambasted the bill, which affects 360,000 public workers, as union busting disguised as budget cutting....
- will respect the taxpayers, save state and local jobs,
3/30/11, "S.B. 5 passes House despite heated opposition," Columbus Business First, Jeff Bell
"S.B. 5 changes the collective bargaining process for about 350,000 teachers, police, firefighters and other public workers, allowing them to negotiate only on issues related to wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment.
- Union workers would not be able to bargain for health benefits, additional employer pension contributions, work-force levels and other issues.
Bill proponents claim its provisions will give state and local governments more flexibility over their budgets, especially during a time of fiscal crisis. But its foes say it is part of a partisan attack on unions and have vowed to place S.B. 5 before Ohio voters in a referendum. Kasich would need to sign the bill into law before April 6 to give opponents enough time under state law to place the issue on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot. Otherwise, such a voter referendum would have to wait until the 2012 general election.
Recognizing a ballot challenge to S.B. 5 is likely, Republicans reportedly would prefer the issue be on this year’s ballot instead of 2012 when the national presidential election is expected to boost voter turnout that could favor Democrats and ballot issues they support."...
The bill also allows "public employees to refuse to make “fair share” payments to unions."...