Ohio Voters Emphatically Reject Kasich’s Anti-Union Law

This is a huge win for the unions in Ohio…


Ohio Democrats, who got absolutely creamed in the 2010 elections, have now won a major victory over Republican Gov. John Kasich — massively winning a referendum to repeal Kasich’s anti-public employee union law.

With 19% of precincts reporting — which includes a significant chunk of the total ballots, due to early-votes being counted quickly — the bill known as SB 5 is losing by a margin of 63%-37%, and the “No” position has been projected as the winner by the Associated Press.

Pre-election polling showed the No campaign winning by over 20 points — and it seemed possible at time of writing that the final margin might even surpass this.

As TPM has documented, SB 5 has become a political poster child for Democrats pushing against Republicans, following the 2010 GOP wave, with the Dems and labor unions mobilizing while at the same time Kasich’s popularity tanked in the polls.

Continue reading here…

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Ohio Union Bill Signed Into Law By John Kasich

Here we go again…

Huffington Post

Gov. John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a limit on the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers, defying Democrats and other opponents of the measure who have promised to push for repeal.

His signature came a day after the measure was approved by the state House and Senate, which are led by his fellow Republicans.

The measure prompted weeks of pro-labor protests by thousands of people amid a national debate over union rights, keyed by a similar bill passed in Wisconsin and signed by the governor there.

The Ohio bill prevents unions from negotiating wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It also eliminates automatic pay increases and bans strikes. It applies to teachers, nurses and many other government workers, including police and firefighters, who were exempt in the Wisconsin measure.

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

Democrats opposed the measure but offered no amendments to it. Instead, they delivered boxes containing more than 65,000 opponent signatures to the House labor committee’s chairman.

Many Democrats, along with other opponents, have vowed to lead a ballot-repeal effort if the measure passes. Backers of a ballot challenge have 90 days after Kasich signs the bill to gather 231,148 valid signatures from at least half Ohio’s 88 counties to get it on the ballot.

The bill signing comes two days after a House labor committee added GOP-backed revisions that make it more difficult for unions to collect certain fees.

The committee changed the bill to ban automatic deductions from employee paychecks that would go the unions’ political arm. They also altered the measure to prevent nonunion employees affected by contracts from paying so-called “fair share” fees to union organizations.

Unions argue that their contracts cover those nonunion workers and that letting them not pay unfairly spreads the costs to dues-paying members.

Kasich’s Assault On Public Unions Brings Boos At State Address, Tears To Teacher’s Eyes

I think this guy is worse than Scott Walker, if that’s possible…

Think Progress

Today, Ohio’s Gov. John Kasich (R) delivered his State of the State address, celebrating the successful passage of his ill-conceived JobsOhio program and for securing Cleveland, OH as the setting for an upcoming movie. But when Kasich began touting the state GOP’s assault on the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers, a hail of boos descended from the gallery, derailing his stream of self-promotion. Youngstown Vindicator reporter Mark Kovac noted that this was “the first time I’ve ever heard heckling” during the State of the State address.

While Kasich painted a rosy picture inside the chamber, thousands of protesters filled the capitol, chanting slogans like “kill the bill” and “we won’t quit” in an attempt to “drown out” Kasich. The Columbus Dispatch captured the pandemonium outside, as teachers, firefighters, policemen, librarians, and other public servants fought to be heard. One of those workers, a 58-year-old teacher Portia Boulger from Chillicothe, OH, broke down in tears over Kasich’s treatment of public employees:

BOULGER: When he says he respects us, it’s a lie. He doesn’t respect me I’m 58 years old. I’ve been working since I was 13 and he wants to take my retirement away from me. Is that respect? Is that respect? No it’s not. He cares nothing about me. He cares about the Koch brothers and the money they put in his pocket. And I’m extremely angry and upset. And I’m not greedy. I am a hard worker and he doesn’t care about me or any of my kind.


While Kasich’s seemingly off-the-cuff speech was light on the details, Kasich previewed a budget proposal that would balance the budget on the backs of the less fortunate. While he reiterated his no-taxes pledge, Kasich “will look to save money” by, among other things, “administering the Medicaid insurance program differently.” Given his party’s stated goals this fall, that plan could include cutting Medicaid eligibility in half. Kasich also foreshadowed cuts to Ohio’s school systems. The total damage Kasich plans to inflict, however, will not be known until he releases his budget proposal on March 15. But if precedent serves any guide, Kasich will surely sacrifice the welfare of the majority of Ohioans to pad the pockets of the wealthy few.