Opponents of Senate Bill 5, the law that would reform Ohio’s public employee collective bargaining rules, have cleared the first hurdle in getting a referendum on the ballot in November 2011. The first step required opponents to submit at least 1,000 signatures in support of the referendum to the Secretary of State. Opponents were also required to submit a summary of the petition to the Attorney General.
In separate actions, Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) approved the "short" version of the petition summary. He rejected the "long" version, which ran over 28 pages, as "far to lengthy" to satisfy the requirement for a short and concise summary. Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) certified that opponents had satisfied the signature requirements. Of the 2,835 signatures obtained in support of the "short" version that Attorney General DeWine approved, Secretary Husted found 2,506 were valid.
The next step for opponents of the bill is to gather more than 230,000 signatures of Ohio voters. If enough valid signatures are collected, the referendum will appear on the November 2011 ballot.