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      Gov. Kasich signs union limits bill

      CLEVELAND (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill to limit the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 public workers.

      The Republican signed the bill in Columbus on Thursday, a day after it was approved by the GOP-led state House and Senate. Opponents who have vowed to push for repeal in the November election.

      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.

      The Ohio bill applies to police officers, firefighters, teachers and many other government workers. It prevents unions from negotiating wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It also eliminates automatic pay increases and bans strikes.

      Kasich has said his $55.5 billion state budget counts on unspecified savings from lifting union protections.


      Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Ann Sanner, Julie Carr Smyth and JoAnne Viviano in Columbus and John Seewer in Toledo.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)