SB 5: Closing Arguments

The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that Senate Bill 5 will likely be voted on today by both the House and Senate. This seems the perfect time to recap – especially with the impending ballot issue, to be accompanied by a melodramatic, highly organized leftist smear campaign. Don’t take it from me!

Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern today called the bill “a piece of manure.”

“It’s destined for a referendum,” he said. “The disrespect and contempt shown toward safety forces these past few months will long be remembered.”

You remember Chris Redfern! In addition to being the official spokesman of the Ohio Democratic Party, he’s an expert on disrespect and contempt.

Also on the topic of contempt, what have the Democrats in the General Assembly done throughout this process to represent the huge majority of Ohioans who aren’t in unions? That’s right: nothing, because apparently the Ohio Democratic Party attends the Michael Moore school of thought, where robbing Peter to pay Paul creates an economic perpetual motion machine.

Meanwhile, the House GOP provided amendments that make the bill stronger:

  • Allow the government employer to continue to deduct union dues from a worker’s paycheck, but no longer could it take out money the worker wants to give to the union’s political action committee.
  • Ensure that workers who strike illegally are not subject to jail time. However, Democrats argue this option is still possible if a judge finds an employee violated a court injunction.
  • Clarify that safety forces, nurses and others can bargain for equipment.
  • Eliminate the bill’s current prohibition against employees speaking to public officials during negotiations. Some lawmakers raised First Amendment concerns about the issue.

The first item on this list is a good step, even if it doesn’t go far enough. The others address specific complaints from GOP senators. Taking these new amendments (and others that make it harder for unions to squeeze government workers for dues) into account, what’s SB 5 about?

Speaker Batchelder says it plainly:

“The schools, municipal governments and townships have not really had the ability to stand up to certain bargaining practices that have occurred as a result of the 1983 legislation,” Batchelder said.

It’s easy for the unions to rally a chorus of far-left defenders against the GOP’s dreadful mathematics, making it all the more important for taxpayers to review AFSCME spending and talking points. Review OEA spending and talking points, too, and feel free to look through the source documents in case I’m a terrible conservative liar (or, as Chairman Redfern would say, a f***er).

When the GOP refuses to treat them as selfless partners for efficient government, the unions feign concern for “the children,” “the middle class,” or even small businesses. But they can’t deny the numbers: Union bosses pay Democrats millions, pay themselves even more, and demand that we pick up the ever-growing tab. With Ohio’s budget the way it is, each voter should consider a simple question: can we afford this?

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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