Ohio

Eye on Education

Issue 2 Inspires New Legislation from Both Sides of the Aisle

Leo Reynolds / Flickr

Ohio Gov. John Kasich may have decided he’ll “take a deep breath” before making any new moves on limiting the state’s public employees’ collective bargaining rights after voters resoundingly rejected Issue 2.

But politics isn’t known for being patient.

It seems neither side of the aisle wanted to get left behind, so just days after the elections there are already several Issue 2-inspired proposals that are causing a stir in Columbus.

The conservative group behind Issue 3 (that was the constitutional amendment that voters approved Tuesday aimed at keeping the national health care reform law taking effect) was quick to act. They’ve proposed turning Ohio into a “right to work” state. That would mean joining a union could not be a condition of employment. The group saw Issue 3′s success as a sign of Ohioans’ support for “individual rights,” and they see Ohio becoming a “right to work” state as further progress in that direction.

On the other hand Democrats are also feeling emboldened following the election, and they’d like to get in the way of any future efforts to implement parts of Senate Bill 5 piecemeal. A new bill introduced this week would prevent the legislature from taking up any issues that voters rejected for at least two years. Democrats say voters clearly showed their support for Ohio’s unions by defeating Issue 2, a decision they say lawmakers should respect.

House speaker William Batchelder has said he doesn’t intend to return to any aspects of Senate Bill 5 until following the New Year.

Governor Kasich may not have to hold a very deep breath, since New Year’s isn’t that far off.

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