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Kasich offers meeting on SB 5

Published: Thu, August 18, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



Gov. John Kasich and GOP legislative leaders have invited the state’s top union officials to a private meeting to discuss Senate Bill 5 and a potential compromise on the controversial collective-bargaining law.

It’s a last-ditch effort by the state’s top Republicans to convince We Are Ohio to pull Issue 2 from the November ballot and avoid a heated fall campaign that labor leaders are calling a referendum on Kasich.

“The eyes of the nation have been fixated on Washington in recent weeks, watching with frustration and sometimes fear as a downgrade of the federal government’s credit rating sent our economy into turmoil,” Kasich, Senate President Tom Niehaus and House Speaker Bill Batchelder wrote in the letter directed to “To The Government Employee Union Leaders of We Are Ohio.” It added later, “We have a fleeting moment in Ohio to take the higher road.”

“Maybe we’ll get somewhere, maybe we won’t,” Kasich told reporters Wednesday. “If we don’t get anywhere, see you in November.”

A spokeswoman for We Are Ohio, the group that secured more than 900,000 valid signatures on petitions to ensure the issue’s appearance on the ballot, was noncommittal when asked whether union officials would participate in the compromise discussions.

Instead, Melissa Fazekas said simply that lawmakers should repeal Senate Bill 5 if they want to avoid a vote in November.

The law would place limits on collective bargaining, changing the way more than 350,000 public workers have negotiated contract terms for nearly three decades. Among other provisions, it would prohibit strikes and enable state and local governments and schools to base employee pay decisions on performance, not seniority.

Proponents say the changes are needed to enable public offices to better control their costs.

Opponents call the new law a politically motivated attack by Republicans on unions that will result in reductions in the ranks of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public servants.

We Are Ohio collected the signatures to place the law before voters in November, via a referendum process that allows citizens to accept or reject laws passed by the Legislature.

Senate Bill 5 will appear as Issue 2, with a “yes” meaning voters want the law enacted and a “no” meaning they want it repealed.

Both sides of the issue believe they will be successful in the general election.

“This is not an effort that’s being put forward because we fear we’re going to lose,” Kasich said of his compromise offer. “...We think we’re in a position where the public finds out more and more information [and] they’ll come our way.”

In surveys by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, a majority of registered voters have said the new law should be quashed, though comparable majorities support specific sections of Senate Bill 5 — requiring public employees to pay at least 15 percent of their health-insurance premiums, for example.

The letter sent by Kasich and Republicans calls on We Are Ohio to confirm by the end of the day today whether its members will participate in a meeting Friday morning near the Statehouse.

A compromise would have to be reached before the end of the month in order to have Issue 2 pulled from the ballot. Batchelder said there is time to call the Legislature back into session yet this month to act on any legislation that results from negotiations.


1youngstownsteve(84 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Ubion Officials: DO NOT CAVE!
Kasich must feel he is on the ropes. We need to vote down SB5 in November and then re-call this arrogant tool of big business and send him back to Wall Street.
He did not know the meaning of the word "compromise" when he crammed SB5 down our throats, now it's time for him to take his medicine.

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2timOthy(802 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Nothing wrong with lisening, but this should have happened FIRST ! But blood and guts did not want any part of negotiation since he is the emperor . I hope it comes to the ballot . And we will see Emperor then . What's going on here . He's reading the Wisconsin paper and read those Rep's kept their job to make their point about the Koch Bros starting all this may ham.

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3Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Remember he is TEA

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4Cowboyfan(105 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


Why didn't he try to negotiate with us before he shoved this down our throats.

We pay taxes and 15 % of our insurance. Quit making it sound like all the unions are not paying their fair share. You are hurting many to punish a few.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Is higher taxation good for Ohio ? Repeal SB5 and find out .

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6mrblue(1175 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Is Kasich worried? Is he having second thoughts? Did he think that the unions would just sit back and take it? This is a HOT issue and come November the voters will decide.

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7valleyred(1103 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The unions were 'supposedly' winning in Wisconsin and Republicans won a supreme court race and multiple special elections to hold onto their lead in the state senate there.

Anyone who think this SB5 vote is going to get repealed in a blowout is in for a rude awakening in November.

Yes on 2.

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8Education_Voter(1173 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Kasich must think SB5 went too far. No kidding?
Citizens desperately tried to testify before their vote in the legislature. We were laughed at by Ohio senators and representatives (though not those from the Mahoning Valley).
I am an eye-witness that they shut the doors in our faces.
Now they want to compromise?

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9RustOnMyBelt(172 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

He's trying to cloud the issue with doubt before Novermber rolls around. Nice tactic from a guy who has already shown his true colors.Stick to your guns Americans!

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Higher taxation is good for government and those working for government .



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11Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Stupid times 8476
Get some air

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12Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

877 and gettin dumberfast . ..

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13AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


WE ARE OHIO not wisconsin. The voters will decide in November.

Oh sure now kasich wants to talk.. Sorry, too LATE.. He should have talked back in Feb and March. But no, he was too busy JAMMING this down middle America's throat.
The only way to TALK now is if kasich repeals all of sb5, and start talks with a CLEAN slate.


Vote NO issue 2

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