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House Democrats vow to fight Senate Bill 5

Published: Tue, March 8, 2011 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



House Democrats are vowing to “fight like hell” to stop controversial collective-bargaining reform from passing as-is out of the Ohio House.

And thousands of union representatives are expected to return to the Statehouse today to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 5 — at the same time Republican Gov. John Kasich is scheduled to offer his first State of the State address.

So starts yet another week of committee hearings and vocal protests against legislation Kasich and other Republicans say is needed to empower state agencies and local governments to better control and cut their costs.

The House’s Commerce and Labor Committee has scheduled three days of hearings this week on the legislation, which would limit collective bargaining and ban strikes among all the state’s public employees.

The Republican- controlled Senate OK’d the bill on the slimmest of margins last week, and the Ohio House is expected to act on it in coming weeks.

Senate Democrats did not offer amendments to Senate Bill 5 during the committee process or from the floor.

House Minority Leader Armond Budish would not commit Monday to whether Democrats would take a similar “kill the [entire] bill” approach in his chamber.

“The bill is so bad. I do understand the Senate Democrats’ view that they couldn’t offer amendments because you couldn’t repair that bill,” Budish said, adding that opponents have been shut out of the legislative process. “This bill came out of the Senate, probably out of the governor’s office, [and] we haven’t had a chance to participate at all in it.”

Asked later exactly what House Democrats could do, given the Republican majorities in the Legislature, Budish said, “We’ll do the only thing we can do: We’ll fight like hell.”

Unionized police and firefighters groups, meanwhile, have forwarded a list of 28 changes they want made to Senate Bill 5.

The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters and others sent the document to all House members.

Mark Sanders, president of the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters, said, “Senate Bill 5 pulls the guts right out of our ability to serve the community. It is a public-safety issue. ... The governor may be talking about the State of the State, but I can tell you the state of the state will be unsafe under the provisions of Senate Bill 5.”

On Monday night, the groups invited upward of 4,000 members to a meeting in Columbus to discuss the legislation. They also unveiled print and television ads they’re backing with hopes of explaining their opposition to members and the public.

“We’re going to educate our members, both law-enforcement officers and firefighters, on every provision in this bill that has a negative impact on them,” said Jay McDonald, president of the Ohio FOP. “This not only affects our wages and our pensions and our benefits, but it affects our ability to provide safety, equipment, staffing and other important aspects that literally have a life-or-death effect on our membership.”


1timOthy(802 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm looking for the petition to do TWO things. The first is to repeal this BILL ! And second a petition to REMOVE KASICH after his first year. And this is standing up OHIO. Buffoon's at it's finest !

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

SB5 is good for everyone in Ohio except the public employee unions and their Democrat allies. I can't understand how anyone who is not directly benefiting from the current public employee contracts wouldn't support SB5 unless you like to pay high taxes so public employees can enjoy high pay and plush benefits while you struiggle to pay your bills everyday. This is gonna save you a ton of state and local tax increases down the road. The $1B - $1.3B this saves the state budget is a lot of money!

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3lee(544 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I hope the Dem's fight like hell that way we can get some more of them voted out of office

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4peacelover(839 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

lee, on the contrary, I hope the Dems fight like hell and that way we can get Kasich voted out of office.

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5Stormieangel(136 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I am on the fence here and I admit I have not followed all this from both sides. I am against public employees going on strike and hampering the necessary services we need. But on the other hand, I don't feel it is right to try to bust the unions so there is no bargaining powers. Do we want to go back to pre-union work conditions? I sure don't want to see that happen. If they do that to these people, then it will just trickle down to every union. But it isn't right to get all the perks that the auto industry has gotten for their workers and listen to them whine when they can't live such a good life to which they had become accustomed. Sorry, I get $700 a month and I cannot feel bad for those getting 3, 4, 5, 6 times, maybe more each month. Without unions, the people will be denied reasonable raises and good working conditions. Remember what Regan did to the Airline industry. Maybe a cap could be put on wages until the country gets back on its feet....all this mess is THANKS to politicians on both sides and a stupid war for people who have never known democracy and peace. There has to be some compromise here and not just the politicians (note I cannot use the word 'representatives') shoving something down the peoples' throats. Cops, firefighters need to have up-to-date equipment to protect our lives and to protect their own while they fight to protect us.

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6Iwannamove(61 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Come on Republicans show your true colors so the american public can vote you out period.

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7TAXEDOFF(118 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago


Your drooling over Kasich is sickening!!

The guy is out to destroy the middle class for his Wall street buddies and Faux News crew.

He'll be happy when everyone in Ohio is working.......FOR MINIMUM WAGE!!!!

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8JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

"I hope the Dems fight like hell and that way we can get Kasich voted out of office."

With people like Hagan and Betras?

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9PhilMcCrackin(58 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

If this passes it will be worse than it is now. If they can't bargain for benefits then they will just say,"Ok, we want $30.00/hr (exaggerated to make a point) And,yeah, just try to get them not to strike.

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10rico13(19 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

i think alot of you need to go on buckeye institute and ohio.gov and look at the hourly wages being paid out of our tax dollars to different state agency employees. leave the fire fighters, teachers, roadway workers and police officers alone. they are the easy targets right now and more people need to get out and vote. wait until this trickles down to other services that alot of people depend on.

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11timOthy(802 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Kasich breaks LAW by Hiring (Mark KVAMME ) ! It's against the Ohio Constitution , and The Ohio Revised Code. The Plain Dealer wrote this story yesterday the 10TH of March . The Ohio code (REQUIRES that State Agency Directors Register to vote (30 Days) prior to voting ! Now where are you at UNION FOREVER ? This fool will do anything that he feels is right regardless of the Laws ! Typical Republican. You know there where ten people lying naked on the beach I said to my friend they must be Republicans . He said how do you know ? I said look at their asses do they look alike. He said yes. I said no they are not ! They one that has Brown on it takes it more than they rest! And thee other nine are trying to figure out how he does it .

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