Ohio Faster Than Wisconsin On Weakening Public Unions

  @ibtimes on March 03 2011 10:42 AM
A large group of union supporters gather on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse to rally against Senate Bill 5 in Columbus, Ohio, March 1, 2011.
A large group of union supporters gather on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse to rally against Senate Bill 5 in Columbus, Ohio, March 1, 2011. REUTERS

Ohio is moving faster than Wisconsin to weaken public unions.

Ohio's Senate voted on Wednesday to prohibit public employees from striking and to restrict certain collective bargaining rights, including negotiations on pensions and health care.

The tight 17 to 16 vote on Senate Bill 5 in Ohio is expected to pass in the Ohio House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans.

This is a major step forward in correcting the imbalance between taxpayers and the government unions that work for them, Gov. John Kasich said.

Ohio Republicans have pitched the curtailment of bargaining rights as part of reforms needed to stabilize the state's economy over the long run and reducing the cost and size of government.

The move is part of a wider budget battle being waged not only in Ohio, but also in nearby Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Republicans have pushed for a similar measure to restrict collective bargaining rights but some of the state's Democratic senators have fled the state, delaying process.

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