The bitter and divisive battle over a bill to reform collective bargaining for public sector workers, slashing union power at the bargaining table, is at an end. But what it likely to be a loud, nasty and expensive war is long from over.
After a few weeks of hearings, Senate Bill 5 was put on a fast track through the House, which passed it Wednesday, with comments from Rep. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township), Rep. Matt Szollosi (D-Oregon), Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon), Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney), Rep. Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown), and Minority Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood). When the final vote came, five Republicans abandoned the party line and voted no with Democrats, and the tentative sense of order in the House collapsed, as union activists shouted, booed, and unfurled a banner from the gallery. The Senate then passed the bill, and less than 24 hours later, Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 5 into law.
But it's clear the fight isn't over. Democrats and union activists have vowed a petition drive that would put it onto the ballot. Recent polls have shown that voters are skeptical about collective bargaining changes.
Though it's not specifically included in the state budget, collective bargaining changes are among the reforms that the Kasich administration says are woven into his complicated spending plan, which officials had said was hard to explain. State budget director Tim Keen talks about the budget, and the cuts and savings that are in it.