COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Legislature has passed a bill severely limiting union rights for 350,000 public workers amid protests by several hundred demonstrators.
It now goes to Republican Gov. John Kasich, who's expected to sign it by the end of the week.
The Ohio Senate voted 17-16 to approve the bill Wednesday. The House earlier cleared the measure cleared on a 53-44 vote.
The legislation affects safety workers, teachers, nurses and a host of other government personnel. It allows unions to negotiate wages and certain job conditions but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It also does away with automatic pay increases in favor of merit raises and prohibits strikes.
Kasich says his $55.5 billion, two-year state budget counts on unspecified savings from lifting union protections to fill an $8 billion hole.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)