A rejected Issue 2 in Ohio is going to cost jobs and growth

Posted By on November 9, 2011

The voters in Ohio have clearly made their desires known when it comes to restricting collective bargaining for public employees — over 60% rejected  Governor John Kasich and the Republicans (perhaps they asked for too much?). What I don’t think voters realize is the big picture cost of rejecting Issue 2.  Unions are now in a strong position to collectively bargain for public workers which will hamstring Ohio cash strapped school districts and cities – the state has little extra to help.  Even union members understand that private sector workers contribute to their health care and retirement … and many understood the need to ask them to pay “at least 15 percent of their health-care insurance premiums and contribute 10 percent of their pay to a pension fund.”  Unless funding is passed locally,  jobs will be lost and services cut … there just aren’t enough tax revenues to continue paying the mandatory increases and costly premium benefits.

The bigger picture being painted by yesterday’s  “No” vote is that Ohio has just become a less friendly place for business. After the 2010 election we were just starting to see the potential to attract business and investment to our state, but the more costly environment now becomes one more hurdle for those trying to bring and create jobs in Ohio.

Message receive — Ohio is now a more expensive place to live and do business.

The measure would have restricted bargaining to wages, hours, working conditions, barred strikes and allowed government entities to impose contracts in an impasse. It also required workers to cover at least 15 percent of their health-care insurance premiums and contribute 10 percent of their pay to a pension fund.

A similar bill pushed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, also a Republican, triggered weeks of protests at the Capitol in Madison and spurred recall elections in nine Senate districts.

Tougher Than Wisconsin

Unlike the Wisconsin law, which exempted police and firefighters, the Ohio bill included them. We Are Ohio featured safety forces in their ads.

Kasich, 59, has said the law was needed to help local governments control costs. Now, he’ll “take a deep breath” and reflect on the outcome, the governor told reporters at a statehouse news conference.

“It’s clear that the people have spoken,” Kasich said. “They might have said it was too much, too soon.”

Voters didn’t want government to use the law as a tool “to help our communities go forward,” Kasich said.

“That’s OK,” he said. “Let’s find out what the set of tools are that will help them to be able to compete and win the jobs.”

Portions of the law struck down today may be re-introduced next year, House Speaker William G. Batchelder told reporters Nov. 3. Even so, Republican lawmakers, many of whom will be up for re-election then, must be careful not to thwart the will of the voters, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

‘‘Politicians that vote for that, whether it’s in a big hunk or in little pieces, are going to pay a price,’’ Trumka said in a telephone interview before the vote.

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Comments

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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