Ohioans still have options on union law

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 3, 2011

Senate Bill 5 — commonly called the “union-busting law” or “collective-bargaining law” — will soon become a reality now that Gov. John Kasich has signed it. But the fight over this controversial law has only just begun.

Even before signing the formal approval that weakens collective bargaining powers for nearly 400,000 state employees had, opponents vowed to take the issue to the people.

Organizers are already preparing a referendum to overturn the legislation. That would appear on the November ballot if they can meet all the requirements including the 231,149 signatures needed to place a law on the ballot.

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This is an important avenue given to Ohio citizens when they feel lawmakers have overstepped their bounds or implemented policy that will hurt the state.

Although the bill includes some needed changes in order to stop handcuffing local government and school districts, it also overshoots the mark in a number of areas.

But citizens don’t necessarily have to wait for November to make their voices heard.

Both those in favor and those opposed to the law should let their elected officials hear about it. Representatives for Lawrence County, John Carey and Terry Johnson, broke party lines to vote against the measure.

Hopefully one of these individuals or other lawmakers will get together to propose legislation that would modify the law in order to find a middle ground and bring the community together. Otherwise it will be decided at the ballot.