By Marc Kovac
A day after news of a GOP-led Right to Work effort surfaced in the Ohio House, the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate seemingly wrote the legislation’s obituary, with the leader of that chamber saying related bills don’t have support.
“We have an ambitious agenda focused on job creation and economic recovery, and Right to Work legislation is not on that list,” Senate President Keith Faber said in a released statement. “After discussions with other leaders and my caucus, I don’t believe there is current support for this issue in the General Assembly.”
He added, “The only purpose this discussion serves right now is to generate a bunch of breathless fundraising appeals from the Ohio Democratic Party.”
Faber offered the comments Wednesday evening, hours after three separate bills were officially unveiled by Republican Reps. Kristina Roegner and Ron Maag to bar mandatory union membership and dues payments.
Roegner. R-Hudson, and Maag, R-Lebanon, are proposing separate Right to Work bills that would affect private and public sector employees, plus a referendum that would place the issue before voters.
They and other supporters say the changes are needed to make Ohio more competitive for businesses and protect residents who don’t want to join organized labor.
About two dozen other states have implemented comparable changes, including most recently Michigan and Indiana.
Ohio voters rejected a similar move in the late 1950s. Tea Party groups continue to circulate their own petitions with hopes placing the issue again before voters, though leaders of that effort have said they may not gain enough signatures to qualify for the November general election.