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What’s next if SB 5 repeal is OK’d?



Published: Thu, October 27, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.

provisions on benefits, pay favored in surveys

By Marc Kovac

news@vindy.com

Last of a five-part series

COLUMBUS

Major polling has remained consistent in its conclusions on Senate Bill 5 since lawmakers passed the legislation earlier this year and opponents launched a petition drive to repeal it.

In four surveys by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, a majority of the registered voters questioned about the issue said the new controversial collective-bargaining law should be repealed.

In each of those surveys, the difference between the two sides remained in double digits. In fact, a new poll released earlier this week put Issue 2 opponents 25 percentage points ahead of supporters.

But those same respondents support provisions in the bill related to public-employee compensation.

In four surveys since May, voters said public employees should pay at least 15 percent of their health care and at least 10 percent of their wages toward pension plans.

They also support using employees’ performance to determine pay raises, not necessarily the number of years on the job. And in most cases, the difference between the two sides has remained in double digits.

With less than two weeks before Election Day, the poll results paint an interesting picture for the future of collective-bargaining reform in the state.

“The issues that drove the necessity of having SB 5 or Issue 2 haven’t changed,” said Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus. “We cannot continue paying the costs at the local government level or at the state level.”

Separate Legislation?

There are rumblings that lawmakers will move on separate legislation enacting parts of SB 5, should Issue 2 fail next month.

There are Republicans who support that course of action.

“I personally would want to, but we have not had that discussion,” said Lynn Wachtmann, a Republican from Napoleon who supports SB 5. “I have not had that discussion with the speaker or anyone else. [But] I think it’s extremely important that all public employees in Ohio pay their 10 percent of their pension and not push that off onto the taxpayers of Ohio, which is what a lot of law enforcement and others do, particularly in the urban centers.”

Others who have been outspoken in their support of SB 5 are remaining mum on what happens if the issue fails, including state Sen. Shannon Jones, a Republican from the Cincinnati area and primary sponsor of the new law.

“I can’t speak to what’s going to happen beyond Nov. 8,” Jones said. “What I do know is that these communities are out of money. I wish it wasn’t the case, but that’s where we are. We’re either going to give our public manager flexibility to manage through this or we’re going to continue to operate a system that the only options that these communities have are mass layoffs and elimination of services or tax increases that the public doesn’t want to pay.”

Gov. John Kasich isn’t commenting publicly about what comes next, either.

“I think everybody knows that local governments are struggling now to create an environment of job creation,” he said. “Local governments will have to come to grips with how they control their costs and how they create jobs. There’s a rising concern about voting for more taxes at the local level. ... That’s what we’ve given them the tools to do [with SB 5]. We’ll see what happens.”

Union leaders say they’re ready to work with Republican lawmakers on future collective-bargaining reform.

“We would hope that if we get into this situation where the bill is rejected ... by Ohio voters, that the people in the Legislature will see that Ohioans have spoken,” said Jay McDonald, president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio. “[We hope] they will provide the opportunity to have the legislative process that was denied in the beginning.”

Political Ramifications

Some opponents of SB 5 are calling Issue 2 as a referendum not only on the collective-bargaining law but also on Kasich himself.

The governor disagrees.

“What’s on the ballot is a referendum on the issue,” he said. “You might try to make it [a referendum against me], but that’s not the way I see it. ... The fact of the matter is the ability to control costs is really important for local communities.”

He added, “I’ve been out there making a case for it, telling people why we need it, and we’ll see what happens. And we’ll move on, one way or the other. [There’s] a lot to do in Ohio.”

Even if the bill fails, Kasich said SB 5 has accomplished something. It’s prompted a better public understanding of public employee collective bargaining in the state, and it’s led public organized labor to agree to contract concessions, he said.

He added, “There are settlements that are coming that are in the better interest [of] communities. ... We’re already winning in what we’re trying to do, which is to make Ohio more fertile for job creation.”

A defeat of SB 5, however, would have political ramifications for Kasich and other Republicans, moving into a 2012 presidential election year, said Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University who has written extensively on political parties and elections.

“If it’s rescinded, it obviously is a rebuke to [Kasich] and to his leadership,” Beck said. “And what it will do is make Republican politicians all over the state nervous — nervous about 2012, much less inclined to follow his lead. ... I think that it’s very important politically in terms of the signal it will send.”

The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio isn’t a liberal-leaning group, McDonald said. In fact, he said many of his members tend to vote Republican.

But SB 5 could have repercussions when current officeholders are up for re-election next year or in 2014.

The bill “wasn’t just about health care or arbitration,” he said. “It’s just such a wide-ranging, broad attack on collective bargaining and public employees in general ... My people are highly upset with the governor, and they’ve taken a lot of the things that he’s done as an insult.”

But Kevin DeWine, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, rejected any notion that Issue 2 is a referendum on Kasich or that it would affect GOP candidates next year.

“Clearly, that’s what [those opposing Senate Bill 5] want,” DeWine said. “They want to sell this to their base as a referendum on the governor. I don’t view it as such, and I think that it will have little impact one way or the other on the election of 2012.”

He added, “The election of 2012 is not about Senate Bill 5 or something that appeared in March of 2011. ... The election of 2012 is about [President] Barack Obama. It’s about jobs and the economy, debt, deficit, taxes, spending. That’s what’s going to be on the hearts and minds of voters, not Senate Bill 5 one way or the other, whether it passes or fails.”


Comments

1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Large layoffs of public employees, and large property tax increases will come if SB5 is defeated. We can't allow that to happen Ohio.

***** Vote YES on Issue 2 *****

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2timOthy(802 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Funny how one Government Group wants to take a cut while the other group don't make any concession in their wages at all ! One other thing the extra weight of local government needs to be trimmed down. Example Village Government with a population of 700 people with & 7 council members ! And it takes State legislation to reduce these Council people. Lie all you want Republicans, but here's a problem with others around the State that you could solve. The problem is you don't get it !! And let the State fall a part ! And Ohio has become use to it ! And who has been in control of Ohio ? Right one time Republicans you are in control and have been since the Ohio bcame a State !

hio ? You should be so proud Republicans !!!

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3Just_me(18 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Whether GOP state leaders want to admit it or not, Kasich will have egg all over his face if this polling is correct as it will verify that his attack on public employees is out of sync with what his own constituents want and believe. He doesn't even realize that his right-wing antics are so far right that he is helping OBAMA win re-election in Ohio.

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4db(280 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

If Issue 2 is defeated & SB5 is repealed, it is obvious what will happen. As communities go into fiscal crisis, tax levies will not pass and property taxes will raise. Some people on fixed incomes (elderly) will lose their homes. This will still not balance the community's budgets so their teachers/firemen/police/street dept/etc will be laid off.

We will be left with higher taxes and fewer police, fewer teachers, fewer firemen, etc.. Maybe we can stand to lose a few; but we will lose whatever it takes to avoid bankruptcy.

Vote YES on Issue 2.

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5Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Vote NO

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6glbtactivist(261 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Once again the Republicans will be proven to be a crazy minority. If they try to ignor the public after the repeal, they will become a minority in government for many years to come.

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7NoBS(2002 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

UnionForever, you're wrong. Large numbers, or even small numbers, of public employees will NOT be laid off WHEN SB 5 is defeated. Nothing will happen to your property taxes that wouldn't happen anyway if SB 5 had passed. Do you really think SB 5 would save you any money? If you do you're a fool.

If Kasich actually wanted to know what's wrong with 50 kids in one classroom, he's got his head somewhere it shouldn't be. It's not about the workload the teachers would have, it's about the STUDENTS. The fewer students in a classroom, the better they learn. That's been proven over and over. Shoving 50 kids into one class might 'show those teachers who's boss' but it also has a negative effect on the students. Kasich doesn't care about that, though - he's happy to do our thinking for us.

timOthy, I'd be willing to bet those 7 council positions in your hypothetical village are volunteer positions, or are paid a dollar a year, or something. They're not getting the huge money the county commissioners, for example, are getting. But your point is good - Kasich and his pals are handing out pay raises, and large ones, to the select members of the club, even while they're demanding the working people take yet another cut.

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8faith(200 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

unionforever said the world would end if national healthcare was passed. Now my kids can stay on till 26 and my dad can get insurance even with his pre-existing condition.
VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2 AND 3 !!

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9faith(200 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Ka"sick" is selling off Ohio's assets. He gave back millions for our states rail system, will sell our turnpike and liquor licence, and this attack on working people will sell off our most qualified workers in the public sector.

If it looks like Wall St. and walks like Wall St. and smells like Wall St. , guess what.....

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10LeoFibanacci(19 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

faith, the health care law hasn't even been implemented yet except for very few portions of it. Most of the law goes into effect in 2014. It will cause large increases in insurance cost not decreases as it was sold.

Most studies indicate class size has very little to do with learning. Do you really think that a class size going from 25 to 30 makes that much difference?

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11db(280 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

This controversy is all about the money; not about kids, education, safety, or any other union-authored diversions.

SB5 union lovers, please explain who is going to pay you when there is no money? Where does this endless supply of money come from? The public is taxed out and resisting higher taxes & new levies; so... with the communities being broke, the public tightening its belt, the worst economy since the great depression, the state in fiscal crisis, and no money sitting in accounts; please explain.

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12jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Vote yes on 2. IT is the only way any sane person should vote. This bill will be a tremendous help financially in a very unstable economy.

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13walter_sobchak(1977 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

If you believe the current system is sustainable, vote "no" and open up your wallet. The current system of government in this state is out of line with real world expectation. There are too many employees due to too many elected offices. School districts need to be combined, elected offices need to be reduced and the ax needs to fall on the unnecessary employees. There are way too many piglets sucking on mama!

As for me and my family, which includes a union employee, we will be voting "yes"!

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14LeoFibanacci(19 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Walter is correct. Leave it to him to tell it like it is. Great job.

SAVEOURCOUNTRY, the spending on pupils in the Youngstown school system is one of the highest in the state and yet the results are embarrassingly poor. Maybe hiring a teacher for each student is your answer? Who will pay for it?

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15YtownParent(350 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Go Walter. Correct, concise and free of BS, yet again. So go to the Board of Elections and get the paperwork and get yourself on the ballot. Walter Sonchak for congress.

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16walter_sobchak(1977 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

YtownParent,
Thank you for the compliments and they are well deserved. Of course, as you know, with state and local offices in needing revamped, it would make no sense for me to go to DC. However, the needed changes are in the levels of state and local offices. Consolidation is needed since the current system was devised long ago and no longer reflects our current make-up. Tom Carney was proposing this when he was a commissioner 20 years ago and it went nowhere. That is because you are asking people to vote themselves out of a job and it will never happen. And, with the STRANGLEHOLD the public-sector unions have on the local politic, it won't happen. Just look at the hacks that get Democratic jobs in the departments for the sheriff, county engineer, water department and all of the judge's offices. We can't keep going down this same road; changes are needed. All one need do is look at how many public-sector unions have agreed to new contracts once SB5 was passed. The workers know where they stand and that change is blowing in the wind!

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17VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

SOC,
I agree with you. By enlarging the classroom size doesn't improve the quality of education, by any means. I feel 25-27 seated pupils max. Getting into 50 students creates loss of attention, unfocused environment, and Q & A sessions are eliminated.
"Classes with too many students are often disrupting to education. Also, too many students in a class results in a diverse field of students, with varying degrees of learning ability and information uptake."
"Consequently, the class will spend time for less academic students to assimilate the information, when that time could be better spent progressing through the curriculum."

Incidently, I faced this issue @ YSU and other community colleges ....result: YOU CANNOT HEAR THE INSTRUCTOR NOR SEE THE VISUAL BOARD! What students did was brought in microphone devices to set @ podium and as a disrupt, walked up to board. (even w/ enhanced vocals) Consider Teacher-Sudent ratio.

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18YtownParent(350 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Good point Walter on where the hardest and most work needs to be done. If you run, they might elect you. Unfortunately the unions have won the battle already by creating such an enormous pool of government employees, which both parties aided and abetted. So no one is going to vote themselves out of jobs.

Ideologically, I was raised on good old American history and capitalist values that saw government jobs as a necessary evil, not a segment of the economy that should be grown. Both the czar's bureaucracy and the Kremlin Party were touted as cautionary examples of why government should be smaller and free enterprise should be fostered and encouraged.

I don't think the government should be an attractive employer. The "we want to attract the best and brightest" argument is foolish and I think dangerous to the ultimate good of society. Would it have been better if Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc. had been wooed away from the private sector by government jobs? How many intelligent and creative geniuses are there in government positions that will never use their talents because they have no reason to? That is just as much a drain on the economy as pay rates, pensions, healthcare costs and mismanagement.

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19doubled(210 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Walter - it appears that your solution to the budget deficits - particularly at the local level - is combining districts, levels of gov't, etc... You said... "Consolidation is needed since the current system was devised long ago and no longer reflects our current make-up." I can't argue with that too much. But let me ask you a very important question, does SB5 address any of that?? Because I know the answer, I'll answer for you -- No, it doesn't.

See if the GOP was really interested in saving taxpayer money and becoming more efficient it would have considered such action. But the GOP didn't think of that because the GOP isn't really interested in saving taxpayer money. Example, SB5 doesn't apply to elected officials -- and they have some of the highest paying jobs/pensions in the state...and SB5 certainly doesn't apply to Kasich's staff, to whom he gave 30% raises - after only six months in office. I think Ohioans are intelligent enough to see through the sham that SB5 is...and that intelligence will be manifested at the polls in November.

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20rocky14(726 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Kasick wanted all or nothing.He will get nothing come November.
NO on SB5

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21walter_sobchak(1977 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I will agree that SB5 does not address the bloat in all levels of government. But, since there is no other solution proposed out there, I can only be concerned about myself and my situation. SB5 is a start, albeit somewhat excessively on some issues. The current system is unsustainable and the only way to change may be to take an ax to it, i.e., SB5. It is like the school funding issue. How many years has it been since the Ohio Supreme Court issued it's decision but we still have the same funding structure in place.

This country is in need of a Teddy Roosevelt that will take on the big power players; business, unions, special interests. Nobody is looking out for the ordinary, hard-working American.

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22AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

It appears kasick's bus has run out of gas. He will not be running people over like he had hoped.

TOO BAD SO SAD

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23VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

AAC,

^^ Ya know with all these comments^^
I was just thinking the same thing!
Well put, AAC!

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24VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Rocky14,

Exactly...ditto!

*Vote NO SB5, aka Issue 2!

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25VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Now, John "dickey" k personified and characterized as a manipulator, belligerant, sham artist will definitely have a plan B and one shall certainly expect another attack on the middle class...wait and see his {"mourning"} of November 9th. Look Out, All Ohioians and be prepared, once again. Use great CAUTION and be extremely OBSERVANT of this shady character. His reckless decision- making truly effects ALL.

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26SomeFacts(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Ignoring the obvious questions of how well students may learn with 50 students per teacher, I want to know how Kasich will physically fit 50 students into a single class room? Has he been in a school building lately? True, the state will save money by laying off teachers. But where is the money going to come from to renovate schools to fit 50 students in one class room? Kasich's mindless comment will cost millions and millions of dollars far and above any savings of less teachers to retool schools for large class sizes. Oh, that is right, we are broke. No money. I guess teachers will just hold the classes in the gymnasium or cafeteria. Way to go Kasich, Ohio can once again have one room school houses.
Kasich didn't want the public to vote. We the people had to demand our right to vote. I will vote NO on SB5, not for unions or non-unions, not for savings or not savings, and not for the rich or the poor. I will vote no because it is simply bad poorly constructed legislation. We the people of Ohio need a solution. SB5 is not a solution.

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27CBDactivist(123 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Vote Yes on Issue 2

It’s ironic and that the labor unions when given a choice during their collective bargaining to either lay off workers or not get a raise, will always want to lay off their own workers. It is always, each man for them self, especially if they are the ones with seniority.

Please vote Yes to give everyone a fighting chance.

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28AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

$9,000 bonus for GM. in the private sector. And to think so many complained about $160. bonus for Atown road dept for perfect attendence.

HHMMMMM

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