COLUMBUS, Ohio - A Republican state senator in Ohio who had expressed his disappointment in a bill that would restrict the bargaining rights of public workers has been replaced on a committee that is poised to approve the measure.
Senate leadership on Wednesday appointed Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay to the panel to replace state Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican. Hite supports the bill.
Commitee Chairman Kevin Bacon says it was done "due to vote count" on the panel, but would not comment further.
He says he has had the votes to get the bill approved and to the GOP-led Senate for a vote. The chamber could take up the measure as soon as Wednesday afternoon.
All four Democrats on the 12-person panel oppose the legislation.
Some 350,000 teachers, university professors, firefighters, police officers and other public workers would be affected by the legislation if it becomes law.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Another showdown on an Ohio bill to restrict the bargaining rights of public workers could come as early as Wednesday with a vote by a Republican-majority legislative committee whose chairman says he has the support to send the measure to the Senate.
Worker rights and collective bargaining have sparked debate in statehouses across the country, most notably in Wisconsin, where a scheduled vote on a similar bill prompted Democratic lawmakers to flee the state.
As GOP Sen. Shannon Jones unveiled her changes to the Ohio bill Tuesday, a daylong rally drew 8,500 protesters who chanted, brandished signs, and listened to musical acts and speakers.
Labor sympathizers also planned to gather Wednesday afternoon for a vigil, anticipating the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee will approve the bill and send it to the full chamber. Republicans hold the majority in the 33-member Senate.
Republican Gov. John Kasich supports the effort. He said in a Fox television interview Tuesday that restricting collective bargaining would be part of a package he plans to present March 15 to address the state's $8 billion deficit, joblessness and poverty.
Democrats have opposed the measure. Senate Democratic Leader Capri Cafaro said the bill "turns collective bargaining into a one-sided conversation where management always gets the last word."
Some 350,000 teachers, university professors, firefighters, police officers and other public workers would be affected by the legislation if it becomes law. Some predicted the Republican-led campaign would backfire.
Answer by Carpy at 12:49 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
Answer by DSamuels at 12:52 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
Wisconsin, Ohio, and many other states who have this leg. 'on the table 'would~ in many ways treat state workers the same as Federal government Employees are treated.... Was Carter guilty of "union busting" when he signed the 1978 Federal Civil Service Act?
Answer by grlygrlz2 at 1:09 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
Answer by Anonymous at 1:53 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
Answer by grlygrlz2 at 1:54 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
Answer by mustbeGRACE at 2:06 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
Answer by Charis76 at 3:05 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
Answer by Carpy at 4:23 PM on Mar. 2, 2011
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