Senate Bill 5, a proposal that would drastically change Ohio's collective bargaining law, was signed by Governor Kasich yesterday after being passed by the Ohio House by a vote of 53-44 and agreed to by the Ohio Senate by a vote of 17-16. State Senator Jason Wilson (D-Columbiana) voted against the measure.
"Within the last 48 hours, I have had a number of current public employees, such as teachers, police officers and highway workers ask me specific questions about what they should do regarding retirement, sick days and working conditions," Wilson said. "My biggest concern is that people get the most accurate information available. If you are a public employee or have questions about the impact this legislation will have on your job, you should contact your appropriate legal representative because each situation is different. My office is always available to direct callers to the appropriate place."
Opponents of the bill have vowed to put a referendum on the ballot. Once petitions are taken out to gather the 231,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot, the law cannot be implemented until a statewide vote is held. In effect, the current system would remain in place until Ohio's voters have made their choice.
"It's very clear that there are strong opinions on both sides of the issue," Wilson said. "I know my office received thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails from the district about SB5. A referendum on the issue will allow people to voice their ideas. My goal is to help inform and educate citizens so they can make the best decisions for the future of Ohio."
Wilson represents Ohio's 30th District which is made up of Belmont, Harrison, Jefferson, Columbiana and Tuscarawas County.