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1.3 million seek vote on SB 5

Published: Thu, June 30, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.


The Vindicator

Opponents of Senate Bill 5 lead a parade through downtown Columbus to the Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday to turn in nearly 1.3 million petition signatures seeking to repeal Ohio’s controversial collective bargaining law.


The Vindicator

State Rep. Bob Hagan, a Democrat from Youngstown, makes a point as he marches with other opponents of Senate Bill 5 in front of the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday. Senate Bill 5 likely will be Gov. John Kasich’s “Waterloo,” Hagan said.

By Marc Kovac



Mahoning County Sheriff’s Sgt. T.J. Assion marched through downtown Columbus Wednesday to oppose a collective-bargaining law signed earlier this year by Gov. John Kasich.

He joined thousands of officers, firefighters, teachers and other union members who paraded past the Statehouse en route to the Secretary of State’s Office to drop off nearly 1.3 million petition signatures aimed at repealing Senate Bill 5.

“We are public servants, we are public employees [and] the governor has trampled all over our rights — the governor and his cronies — with this new law commonly referred to as SB5,” said Assion, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 141. “We’ve collected ... over 1 million signatures on petitions, and it’s time to turn those in and show the governor that he’s not as popular as he thinks he is, he’s not as smart as he thinks he is and that he’s dead wrong.”

The event Wednesday included thousands of chanting walkers, dozens of motorcycle riders, a vintage fire truck and a semi trailer load of petitions that were turned in to Secretary of State Jon Husted one day before the deadline for qualifying for the general election.

The paperwork is now in the hands of Husted and county boards of elections. The former has about 60 people working to process the petitions; the latter will have until late July to determine if We are Ohio, the group behind the drive, has enough valid signatures to place the referendum before voters in November.

The group needs more than 231,000 verified signatures from Ohio registered voters.

On Wednesday, it delivered 1,298,301 unverified names.

“This historic number of signatures sends a strong, clear message to the extreme politicians who played political tricks to pass SB 5 and to the rest of the country,” Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio, said in a released statement. “More than 1 million voices from all 88 counties can’t be wrong.”

Senate Bill 5 places limits on collective bargaining, changing the way more than 350,000 public workers have negotiated contract terms for nearly three decades. The new law also prohibits strikes and enables state and local governments and schools to base employee-pay decisions on performance.

Proponents say the law is needed to enable state and local governments to better control their costs.

“The unsustainable cost of government is one of the biggest attacks on our middle class, and Ohioans are tired of being badgered for higher taxes to fund the growing cost of government,” Jason Mauk, spokesman for Building a Better Ohio, the pro-Senate Bill 5 campaign effort, said in a released statement.

“Our communities are struggling financially. It’s time to give them the flexibility to balance their budgets in a tough economy.”

Gov. John Kasich said repeal of Senate Bill 5 would hurt local governments.

“It will be a … blow to local communities,” Kasich told reporters Wednesday. He added, “I wouldn’t presume what an outcome [of the potential ballot issue] would be, but the loss of that would really continue to hamper our local communities.”

The governor also said opponents of Senate Bill 5 have spread or believed rumors about the legislation that aren’t true.

“God bless ’em,” Kasich said. “Many of them have been misled. Some of them are frustrated. Many of them are angry. You know, I understand that. I know. I live out there amongst all the folks. But we’ve got to be together on this, and it will all work out.”

But opponents say it’s a politically motivated attack on unions that will result in cuts in the ranks of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public servants.

“I think the governor has met his Waterloo,” state Rep. Bob Hagan, a Democrat from Youngstown, said while marching in Wednesday’s parade in downtown Columbus. “The thousands of people that are behind this are behind this because they want to repeal [SB5] and they want to fight for working people.”

“People in my district are angry,” added state Rep. Ronald Gerberry, a Democrat from Austintown. “And Senate Bill 5 will be strongly, strongly repealed in the Mahoning Valley.”

Jeff Younkins, a captain at the Warren Fire Department and a union member, also attended Wednesday’s parade. He said firefighters from his area collected about 10,000 signatures.

“We’ve been vilified, the police and fire have been vilified,” he said of Senate Bill 5. “We’re not the enemy. The current economic conditions, they’re not the result of the public employees, especially the police and fire.”

SB 5 was scheduled to go into effect Friday, but now that is delayed until August as the signatures are verified. If there are enough valid signatures to get it on the ballot, SB 5 will be held in abeyance until after the November election, when SB 5 will either be killed or go into effect.


1VindyPost(436 comments)posted 5 years ago


Ohio Group Delivers Nearly 1.3 Million Signatures...This is Ohio History!

****** WOW...We Are OHIO ******

Raise Your Glass!

Applauding With A Standing Ovation!

Hooray! Hooray!

Hurrah! Hurrah!

Cheers To ALL!

“This historic number of signatures sends a strong, clear message to the extreme politicians who played political tricks to pass SB 5 and to the rest of the country,”

NOvember ...Just say NO to SB 5, it's that simple.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years ago

The message is clear - support SB5! End the cadillac healthcare and golden pension plans for the greedy selfish public union employees that we in the private sector do not have. We real taxpayers can not afford to continue this madness.

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3Photoman(1248 comments)posted 5 years ago

Once again, when asked to sacrifice for our state and our nation, another group says, "Everybody but us".

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4timOthy(802 comments)posted 5 years ago

You have my support also ! Kasich you started this fire with your pals the Koch brothers ! Now you don't have a fire department to put it OUT ! I think we should repeal you next ! And I'm sure the whole state would back that. Hey Johnny where are the Jobs ????

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

"Gov. John Kasich said repeal of Senate Bill 5 would hurt local governments."

When times are taxing they'll just tax the workingman more to keep government workers in opulence . Can you afford to pay more in taxes ? SB5 opponets say, " CERTAINLY".


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6Attis(1134 comments)posted 5 years ago

the handwriting is on the wall as well as on this historic petition: SB5 and the anti-american forces behind it are going down and We The People are on the rise, finally.

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7mwhite(3 comments)posted 5 years ago

I hate to burst your bubble but I know a minimum of about 20 people (including myself) that signed the petition so that we could vote YES on it in November. I fully support putting the issue to a vote so that all the union leaders, etc can see that the public truly is sick of this situation.

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8valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years ago

Even if they do repeal this, the new budget requires that teacher raises be based on merit, not simply time on the job.

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9republicanRick(1735 comments)posted 5 years ago

Union mob mentality by running protest marches and in-your-face screaming. SB5 will curtail the greedy public workers and restore fairness to the workplace.

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10db(280 comments)posted 5 years ago

Retirement age is is 65. Don't expect retirement pay before retirement age. GO SB5!!

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11WarrenRicheyKid(169 comments)posted 5 years ago

The U.S. federal corporate income tax rate of oil giant Exxon Mobil in 2009 was effectively zero. How's that for freeloading?

For my part, I'm happy to see the tremendous outpouring of support to repeal SB5. Glad to see that not only union members support its repeal. This is what democracy looks like!

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12piak(508 comments)posted 5 years ago

What is disturbing about some of the posts on this topic are phrases along the lines of "the people" are fighting back...stuff in that vein. It sounds like something out of Marx's Communist Manifesto. Or maybe something found in Mao's "little Red Book"?

The supporters of REPEALING SB 5 now appear to be "apparachiks" of some sort of "socialist" movement in the state. Or they may be the new "Party elite" transplanted to this country. "Party elite" sounds more like it.

The "Party elite" will be seen for what they are in November. Despite all the propaganda they muster, the American public will be forced to choose between food on the table and a roof over their heads OR continuing support for a failed system that is leading this state into the trashbin. Continuing support for an "elite", who are our "betters"? You gotta be kidding!

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13AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years ago

Anyone who signed a petition so they can in turn vote against it, makes Absolutely NO SENSE. Why would you take a chance to help put something on a ballet just so you can vote against it?

sb5 will be voted away, but yes, several of sb5 rules are in the state budget.


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14AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years ago

If sb5 was really about SAVING OHIO then it would not be JUST for UNION employees. Why is Gov kasich protecting himself and his nonunion staff from paying the same as he is trying to mandate on UNION taxpayers. He just wants unions to suffer, Not save money.

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15Education_Voter(1173 comments)posted 5 years ago

The legislators dumped a proposal to scale back their salaries really quickly.
How about scaling back the office staff of a legislator?

And ValleyRed, if you only wanted to punish teachers, I guess SB5 is moot.

You're an Ursuline guy right? How about we give those teachers merit pay now that they are taking more and voucher students?

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16walter_sobchak(2713 comments)posted 5 years ago

No, it makes perfect sense because this is the law. I believe everyone has the right to petition the government and signatures of voters is the way it is done in our state. Many times I have signed someone's petition and then voted opposite of what the peition was requesting. I didn't sign this one though, just to piss off the union lemming that asked me. Figured I would make them work a little harder.

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17Woody(492 comments)posted 5 years ago


Exxon Mobil actually paid $1.6 billion in taxes.
And before you cry about how much money they make, I would ask you go look at your investments, stocks, mutual funds, retirement plan, etc. I bet you hold some investment in big oil.
Last I checked, The largest holdings for the State Teachers Retirement fund was in Exxon Mobile.


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18Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

The concept of much higher taxation is alive and well in Ohio .

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19peacelover(839 comments)posted 5 years ago

I could almost -- ALMOST -- understand Kasich trying to shove something like SB5 down our throats, if and when he tried other means of balancing the budget first and nothing else worked. But to make SB5 the first thing on his agenda really speaks volumes to the middle class. NO SB5!!!!!!

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20harpercm(9 comments)posted 5 years ago


Take a moment to read the above article with actual stats from the 2010 census. States without collective bargaining see more growth than those with collective bargaining laws.

New businesses, manufacturing, etc. are moving to right to work states and setting up shop, employing lots of people and paying them fairly. These same employees enjoy a cost of living similar to Ohio, while earning more, with job security. Job security not from a union but from working hard and being compensated on performance.

Read. Understand. There is a reason states grow and states decline in population. Declining population, increasing retirees, decline in available jobs, increasing population on government assistance,less taxes being generated....sounds like Ohio.

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21AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years ago


Many teachers are not working. Remember everyone says they don't work in the summer. Police/fire work weekends also, thus they would have days off during the week. Or working the Midnight shift and off during the day. Don't forget sb5 is going after those same fire/police that help protect us all night, all weekend, all holidays.

Also so many complain public workers cash in their vacation leave when the retire. Now some may have taken a vacation day and some will complain about that.

There are also many private sector workers that want sb5 repealed.

walt, it makes NO sense. What if those 20 or however many there were that are against sb5 put the legal number over the 200,000ish needed.


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22republicanRick(1735 comments)posted 5 years ago

It's simple -- the public workers enjoy better benefits, pensions, and pay compared to the average worker.

The average worker is tapped out -- public workers pay package has to be scaled back.

SB5 corrects the inequality and protects the average worker.

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23AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years ago

I see Gov kasich is out saving Ohio money again.. FLYING a 22 minute flight all the way to Findley. Could he not drive? I thought he was all about saving money.

N860H SUPER Kingair

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24DwightK(1537 comments)posted 5 years ago

You guys are so out of it. Government workers are not living in "luxury". I know government workers (not teachers) who have progressively brought home less money each year because of wage freezes and increased medical copays. I think you are all confusing the top administrators (superintendents, YSU presidents, etc...) with the people who work on water lines, take care of the mentally challenged and work with criminals.

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25AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years ago


The will point out that Boardman police make a lot of money, therefore ALL public employees are over paid. They use the top paid police and a top paid teacher for ALL their examples. I agreee with you, most public employees(taxpayers) are not over compensated.

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26republicanRick(1735 comments)posted 5 years ago

The average worker looks at government workers and says "Hey, I don't make nearly that much or enjoy those great benefits. And they want me to vote for MORE taxes to pay them?"

This isn't about what government workers THINK they should make or what is reasonable -- it's just a simple fact that they make more than the average voter.

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27rocky14(838 comments)posted 5 years ago


Businesses and manufacturing are moving to right to work states?
Is this so they can bring all their $7.00 an hour jobs?
Ala.,Ark.,La.,Miss.are all right to work states.They also have more poverty then most states.
By the way---they also have some of the worst school systems in the nation.

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28Cowboyfan(105 comments)posted 5 years ago

Aren't Boardman Police mainly paid for by Boardman residents. So if you don't live in Boardman you have no beef. Boardman Trustees can go against SB5. MRDD. Corrections, State Police they will be destroyed.

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29rocky14(838 comments)posted 5 years ago


Nice try.You lose!

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30Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years ago

THANK YOU who ever signed the petition . Let the voters say what they think is right. Not a bunch of haters

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31Rockabilly(93 comments)posted 5 years ago

Great Job! Down with SB5!

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32harpercm(9 comments)posted 5 years ago

I live in a right to work state, GA, and have since 1990. Our cost of living remains manageable because the person working in the grocery store doesn't DEMAND a high wage but works for what that position is worth.
Businesses will continue to leave heavily unionized states if they can pay someone half the pay to do the same job.

BTW, I just spent 2 weeks in the Youngstown area. I paid more for gas and groceries than I do in Metro Atlanta. The sales tax was the same. My son attends a top, public school, (I don't recall OH being high on the list of best schools) we have a new public library, our roads are nicely paved and we are building new schools.

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33Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

"“The unsustainable cost of government is one of the biggest attacks on our middle class, and Ohioans are tired of being badgered for higher taxes to fund the growing cost of government"

The middle class is a threat to the liberals . People who depend on government are their biggest asset .



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34sbell(2 comments)posted 5 years ago

Gee, my public employee retirement will be $9,000 a year, 21 years from now. With the cost of living How will I survive? I won't get but $200 a month on social security, so that is a total of $950 a month, 21 years from now. Is that your idea of a "cushy" or "golden retirement"? Quit believing everything that you read and get some facts.

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35wksb50(32 comments)posted 5 years ago

i agree with you sbell. same with me.i am a county employee and the same goes for my pension. that is why this country is in trouble. people believe the wrong things,

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36Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years ago

They said about a thousand public sector workers were in the streets. The private sector had to work. The state of Ohio ran fine. Those thousands are dead weight and should be let go.

- - - - -- - - I would imagine most of them were off that day.I rather doubt everything would have been fine otherwise.Unless you consider being robbed, having your house burn down or having no one to teach your kids fine.By the way school is out for summer.

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37Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years ago

"They said about a thousand public sector workers were in the streets. The private sector had to work. The state of Ohio ran fine. Those thousands are dead weight and should be let go."

- - - - -- - - I would imagine most of them were off that day.I rather doubt everything would have been fine otherwise.Unless you consider being robbed, having your house burn down or having no one to teach your kids fine.By the way school is out for summer.

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38streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 5 years ago

SOC and all your gringos...

SB5 will be one of the greatest campaigns in state history.

It really doesn't matter much which way it goes, however - because public sector unions are going down!

All the crybabies will continue to cry when we vote all school levies down in November too.

And yes, SB5 is mainly about the abuse heaped upon the public by teachers - their golden compensation packages makes them "poster children" for upholding SB5.

The weakling unions have already been brought down. SB5 will just give them what they most recently lost - if they win! But society is changing - and public sector unions are on the "endangered species" list.


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39Boardman120(82 comments)posted 5 years ago

Success in Wisconsin! This is needed in Ohio!

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40VindyPost(436 comments)posted 5 years ago


Back at you this weekend, listen loud and clear. The whole country will be setting fireworks off!

KA BOOM to you too!

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41streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 5 years ago


That's the first time anyone has ever called me a socialist. Wow!

I'm trying to stop Ohio from descending into socialism!

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42streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 5 years ago


How can a conservative - free-enterprise guy like me be a socialist? I'm for the most freedom for everybody. I would abolish income taxes completely, if I could. I hope you don't teach political science or government... that would be scary!

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43streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 5 years ago


Yes, I do want the same for everybody... but not in wealth or possessions or employment - BUT IN OPPORTUNITY!

Teachers are taking away the opportunities of the private sector by SUCKING IT DRY.

Taking all the taxes it can - to sustain it's over-the-top perks and bennies.

I want an even playing field for everyone. Teachers like you want only the provate sector to feel the effects of the recession.

I want a stronger America with better educated kids and regained leadership in the intellectual world.

I want teachers to "give back" what they've stolen through corrupted alliances with BOEs and superintendents.

I want the kind of country where you can go beyond the public sector to find jobs worth having.

In short, I want to make our country great again!

And siphoning off some of the unbridled power of teacher unions is a good place to start.

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44TB(1167 comments)posted 5 years ago

Actually, you will find corporate America sucking America dry. Middle class denizens have fallen prey to Wall Street. Union membership is at an all time low, yet business cries more and more.

Do your homework on the economic meltdown and the resulting global collapse as well as deregulation.

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45Brit(18 comments)posted 5 years ago

SB5 is going to be voted down by all good voters who care about Ohio, America and the rights and benefits of those who work hard. Gov. Kasich will be the next to go hopefully. SB 5 is a bill that takes away the rights and voices of people in Ohio who work hard every day to serve others including YOU. These teachers, police, firemen and nurses all serve you and your children when you are in need and form the backbone of this country. If you don't pay them right you will all experience the result. You will get what you pay for as the best to offer will leave the state and go elsewhere. SB 5 isn't about saving money. It is about power grabbing by Kasich, his corporate friends, promoting greed, and hurting freedom so they can exploit the workers in Ohio more. Without union voices workers are likely to be over worked, under paid, exploited and forced to work in unsafe and toxic work environments. If Kasich was so concerned about saving money he would start with his own over sized pay check and also would not be paying record salaries to his own staff. He would also be going after the corporations who he serves and make them pay their fair share. Instead they get tax breaks while those who are hurting get attacked. Cutting social programs that help people and attacking unions is making this country worse off. We don't need a sweat shop country like China is, but Kasich is trying hard to make it such. Privatizing agencies which are non profit and will operate to serve people without regard to money will only introduce a "profit incentive" which will be more important than the people. We don't need to privatize programs that help people and end up having the main concern become greed and profit at the expense of helping and doing good for all. This is how insurance companies run our health care. SB 5 needs to be stopped and there are petitions circulating all over Ohio right now. Please find a place to sign one in your area and make the move to make Ohio a place where people count again! Sign the petition to recall SB 5. This bill if not stopped will hurt all Ohioans.

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46TB(1167 comments)posted 5 years ago

Great points Brit!

Without elaborating any further into what groups are affected, I wish people could understand this is an issue of civil rights. Taking away people's legal rights is something that too many of us have accepted.

It's time to realize everyone will suffer more than they already claim.

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47streetsmartt(127 comments)posted 5 years ago


All Ohioans are already hurting because we can not compete with right to work states.

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48TB(1167 comments)posted 5 years ago

Actually, according to actual statistics, you are incorrect. On Ohio's own state website was an article published by a research group that claimed Ohio to be the third friendliest climate in America to businesses due to tax rates.

Combine with that the FACT that right to work states ALSO have the same exact budget "problems" we do here in Ohio, and your point is just false.

Nice try streetsmart but the number don't bear you out buddy. Try another avenue.

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