URGENT: Committee passes SB 5 to ban worker strikes

COLUMBUS (AP) — A bill to overhaul and greatly restrict collective-bargaining rights for public workers in Ohio is headed to a vote before a Republican-led state Senate.

The chamber was expected to take up the measure later this afternoon after the bill passed out of committee on a 7-5 vote. All four Democrats and one Republican voted against it in the Senate labor committee.

The approval came after Senate leadership replaced a GOP state senator who expressed his disapproval of the legislation, securing the necessary support to move the bill forward.

It would ban public worker strikes and establish penalties for those who participate in walkouts.

It would let unionized workers negotiate wages, hours and safety conditions but not benefits.

About 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public workers could be affected.

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