Make us your home page
Instagram

Ohio House okays collective bargaining limits

A protester shouts at a broadcast of the Ohio House floor debate on the anti-union bill Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio. The bill would strip public employees of collective bargaining rights.

Associated Press

A protester shouts at a broadcast of the Ohio House floor debate on the anti-union bill Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio. The bill would strip public employees of collective bargaining rights.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Labor stronghold Ohio assumed center stage Wednesday in the fight over collective bargaining rights for public workers as the state Legislature passed a bill that was in some ways tougher than that seen in Wisconsin and sent it to the governor.

Amid shouts and jeers in both chambers, the House passed a measure affecting 350,000 public workers on a 53-44 vote, and the Senate followed with a 17-16 vote of approval. Republican Gov. John Kasich will sign the bill by the end of the week.

Senate President Tom Niehaus threatened to clear the chamber ahead of final legislative action on the bill as pro-labor protesters shouted insults at senators and threatened to unseat them in the next election.

Chants of "Shame on you!" filled the elegant, high-ceilinged chambers where legislators are accustomed to hushed tones and self-imposed decorum.

Unlike Wisconsin's measure, the Ohio legislation would extend union restrictions to police officers and firefighters.

But the overall response by protesters in the Rust Belt state, despite its long union tradition among steel and auto workers, has paled in comparison to Wisconsin, where protests topped more than 70,000 people. Ohio's largest Statehouse demonstrations on the measure drew about 8,500 people.

That difference has been attributed to Madison's labor legacy and the proximity of the populous University of Wisconsin campus to the state capital.

On Wednesday, an estimated 700 people went to the Ohio Statehouse to hear the debate.

The Ohio measure affects safety workers, teachers, nurses and a host of other government personnel. It allows unions to negotiate wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It gets rid of automatic pay increases, and replaces them with merit raises or performance pay. Workers would also be banned from striking.

Democrats, including former Gov. Ted Strickland, and unions have vowed to mount a campaign to overturn the measure through a referendum in November.

Kasich has said his $55.5 billion, two-year state budget counts on unspecified savings from lifting union protections to fill an $8 billion hole. The first-term governor and his GOP colleagues argue the bill would help city officials and superintendents better control their costs at a time when they, too, are feeling budget woes.

Heartbeat bill vote

An Ohio House committee narrowly approved a bill that would impose the strictest abortion limit in the nation, outlawing the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat. The Health Committee voted 12-11 to approve the so-called Heartbeat Bill. The bill would need to be approved by the House, where its future is uncertain.

Ohio House okays collective bargaining limits 03/30/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 11:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data

    Business

    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  2. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Legal

    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  3. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board

    Retail

    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  4. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent

    Business

    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  5. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower

    Corporate

    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]