It appears that the controversial bill that dramatically restricts what can be negotiated between employers and employees in the public sector will be headed for the November ballot. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Thursday that petitioners had gathered 915,456 valid signatures -- almost four times more than necessary -- to place the measure on the November ballot.
Proponents also needed to gather signatures from 44 of Ohio' s 88 counties, and needed to gather signatures from a minimum of three percent of the total number that voted in the last gubernatorial election. Signature gatherers exceeded that total in all 88 counties.
Senate Bill 5 was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in March 2011. The law prohibits strikes by public officials, essentially eliminates collective bargaining by state employees, and sets minimum percentages of retirement benefits and health care that must be paid by the employee.
Upon its passage, organized labor and its allies immediately went to work in gathering the more than 231,000 signatures they needed to place the measure on the ballot for voters to affirm or repeal through referendum.
Having met the requirements to place the issue on the ballot, the next step in the process is for the Ohio Ballot Board to convene and approve the ballot language that voters will consider will consider in November.
The ballot board is expected to meet in early August.
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