Ohio House Panel Approves Anti-Union Bill

But bill is softened from original version
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2011 11:50 AM CDT
Ohio House Panel Approves Anti-Union Bill
Union members and supporters rally against Ohio Senate Bill 5 in Strongsville, Ohio Tuesday, March 15, 2011.   (AP Photo)

An Ohio House panel today passed a bill that would curb collective bargaining rights for public-sector unions, after adding a number of controversial amendments. The new additions would allow public workers to opt out of paying dues, force unions to hold a vote before spending money politically, and allow local voters to veto new labor contracts, the Wall Street Journal reports. “They have made a bad bill even worse,” said one Democratic leader.

But the panel did strip several proposals out of the bill that even fellow Republicans believed were too harsh—like one that would have made jail time a potential penalty for striking workers, and another that would have prevented police or firefighters from negotiating for better safety equipment. The bill "is about being fiscally responsible," said the House speaker. "This isn't about busting unions." The bill now goes to the full House for a vote. (More Ohio stories.)

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