Campaigns for and against Ohio Senate Bill 5 move full steam ahead

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August 30, 2011

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Removing the Senate Bill 5 veto referendum from the 2011 ballot is no longer an option. The deadline to do so passed on August 29, leaving both sides of the collective bargaining law to battle it out in a political duel leading up to the general election.[1]

The referendum, to appear as Issue 2 on the November 8 ballot, targets Senate Bill 5, legislation that limits collective bargaining for public employees in the state. Most notably, SB 5 prevents unions from charging "fair share" dues to employees who opt out.

Senate Bill 5 will impact the state's 400,000 public workers, restricting their ability to strike and collectively bargain. As it stands, the bill would only permit public employees to collectively bargain for wages, preventing them from collectively bargaining for health insurance and pensions. It would also prohibit all public employees from striking and could increase employee contributions for pensions and healthcare

The bill was signed into law on March 31, 2011 by Ohio Governor John Kasich. Then in a record breaking performance, referendum proponents submitted a grand total of 1,298,301 signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State on June 29, 2011 in a parade marching towards the secretary's offices. This broke the previously held record of 812,978 signatures in 2008 for a constitutional amendment allowing a casino resort in Clinton County. The referendum effort needed 231,149 valid signatures to be placed on the ballot.

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