Ohio Senate passes Senate Bill 5 for collective bargaining reform

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Senate passed the collective bargaining reform bill by a narrow margin on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 5 won with a 17 to 16 vote.

Here is a breakdown of how each senator voted:
- YEA: Bacon, Beagle, Cates, Daniels, Faber, Gillmor, Hite, Jones, Jordan, LaRose, Lehner, Obhof, Schaffer, Stewart, Wagoner, Widener, Niehaus

- NAY: Brown, Cafaro, Grendell, Hughes, Kearney, Manning, Oelslager, Patton, Sawyer, Schiavoni, Seitz, Skindell, Smith, Tavares, Turner, Wilson

The announcement came after roughly three hours of discussion on the Ohio Senate floor.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich applauded the bill's passage and issued the following statement Wednesday evening: 

“I applaud President Niehaus, Senator Jones and Senator Bacon for their leadership, and I appreciate the courage and resolve members of the Senate have shown in working with me to get Ohio back on track. This is a major step forward in correcting the imbalance between taxpayers and the government unions that work for them. Our state, counties, cities and school districts need the flexibility to reduce their costs and better manage their workforces, and taxpayers deserve to be treated with more fairness. Senate Bill 5 is just one piece of a larger plan to create a jobs-friendly climate in Ohio that is essential to returning prosperity to our state.”

Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga released a statement shortly after, announcing the group's disappointment with the outcome of the vote.

Today is a sad day for Ohio’s middle class. With the passage of Senate Bill 5, Ohio Senators have shown they would rather push a partisan agenda to punish the middle class than work on solutions to our jobs crisis...Ohio Senators were elected to create jobs but those who have supported this wrongheaded bill have shown that they are more concerned with political payback than revitalizing our struggling economy," he said.

The AFL-CIO was the driving force behind the thousands of protestors at the statehouse over the course of the bill's discussion.

Senate Bill 5 allows public workers to negotiate only on issues related to wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment. The bill prohibits public employees from striking and gives state and local governments more flexibility over their budgets. The bill also creates a new contract dispute resolution process that involves elected officials.

 “We can’t continue to operate under the failed polices and practices that have led many of our government budgets to the breaking point,” said State Senator Shannon Jones, sponsor of Senate Bill 5. “Ohioans sent us here to make some tough decisions about getting spending under control and restoring our economic growth so we can create jobs. That’s what this bill is about.” 

The bill now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for committee hearings.  If the house committee votes to send it to the house floor it must pass there before it is sent to Gov. Kasich's desk for his signature.

NewsChannel5 has a crew at the statehouse. Keep checking newsnet5.com for more information.

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