INDEPENDENCE, Ohio - Gov. John Kasich took his push for Issue 2 to Cuyahoga County Thursday. Speaking at a rally, he said Issue 2 will give local government the tools it needs to cope with fewer dollars from the state.
"We would now give the communities the tools they need to control their costs and when they control their costs will have more jobs," said Kasich.
Issue 2 would repeal the state's new collective bargaining law that impacts roughly 360,000 public employees, limiting their right to bargain over wages and certain working conditions -- but little else. It would also require them to pay 15 percent of their health care premiums and 10 percent towards their guaranteed pensions.
Kasich pointed to Lancaster, a city that recently laid off 14 firefighters.
"If they had eliminated the fact that they were picking up some of these pension costs they would have saved a million dollars," said Kasich. "Do you know how many firemen you can hire for a million dollars? A lot."
Outside the Independence Recreation Center, a crowd of teachers, firefighters and opponents of Issue 2 booed Kasich as he arrived and left the rally. Kasich acknowledged the passion of those involved in this fight after a heckler was removed from inside the rally.
"You got crowds outside and crowds inside, Ohio's happening isn't it? It's no longer asleep in Ohio, we're waking up," he said.
One of those who showed up outside was Jim Astorino, President of the Northern Ohio Firefighters who said it's a matter of safety.
"We believe a no vote will keep this community safe and a yes vote if SB 5 goes into effect will not be safe for the community," said Astorino.
But inside, Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby argued that's not the case, and it's the type of talk that's confusing voters.
"People do not understand the issue," said Hruby. "They think that when they call a policemen they will not come, they think when they call a fireman they will not come, they think all of these things because of the media campaign that's out there."
"This is not an attack on the middle class, this is to help the middle class," Hruby added.