UPDATE: House Committee Votes to Amend Senate Bill 5

Today, the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee considered amendments to Senate Bill 5.  According to a report in The Columbus Dispatch, some of the changes considered include:

  • Giving public employees the right to refuse to pay "fair share" fees to unions.
  • Making some changes to impasse resolution mechanisms, primarily by providing an option of a public referendum on a union contract that could not be paid for without a tax increase.
  • Clarifying that safety forces can bargain for equipment.
  • Permitting public employees to speak to public officials during contract negotiations.

This afternoon, the House committee voted 9-6 in favor of the legislation.  The bill will move next to the House. 

Opponents of the legislation have not offered any amendments to it, maintaining that the legislation is so bad that nothing can fix it.  Rather, opponents seem focused on a ballot initiative, perhaps as early as November 2011. 

Meanwhile, pollsters have been active, asking Ohioians about their views on the proposed legislation.  The results are not favorable for supporters of Senate Bill 5.