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SB5 opponents to kick off fight

Union rep to show how to circulate petitions

It’s a fight that is going out into the streets. And those who want to see the defeat of Ohio Senate Bill 5 are taking no chances.

That’s why a representative from the AFL-CIO will be at the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library in Ironton to show just how to do battle.

On March 31, Gov. John Kasich signed into law the bill that will restrict public employee compensation and the collective bargaining rights for approximately 360,000 teachers, police officers, firefighters, prison guards and other public servants. Public employees can no longer go on strike and they will have to pick up at least 15 percent of the tab for their health care costs, among other features of SB5.

Now those who oppose the law plan to be out in full force gathering the necessary signatures on petitions seeking a referendum on the November ballot.

“We are supposed to get the petitions coming this coming Thursday,” Kristi Hall, one of the Ironton petition organizers, said. “We have 90 days to get the signatures from when the governor signed it.”

On Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Ironton library branch those interested in helping the cause will get some pointers.

“We will hold a training session for people who want to circulate petitions so they can do it correctly,” Hall said. “One bad signature can throw the whole petition out.”

Those who want SB5 on the November ballot must get a minimum of 231,149 signatures from registered voters in the state. Petitions must have signatures from voters in at least 44 of the state’s 88 counties.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. local referendum organizers will start soliciting signatures at the Rotary Fountain at Third and Center streets.

“We are setting up tables,” Hall said. “I have spoken to the presidents of the small unions like police, fire department, welfare, to get out as many people. This is to kick it off.”

Organizers also plan to set up other locations later throughout the county. Anyone who would like to help with the petition drive can contact Kristi or Dwayne Hall at 532-1714.