As it happens, this Wall Street Journal article discussing Ohio’s (among other states’) credit upgrade by Standard & Poor – and Ohio’s fairly dramatic drop in unemployment in a year – came out the same day that I spoke with Governor Kasich about his budget and labor union reform successes. The latter (SB5, which was in many ways an even stronger reform package than Wisconsin’s) is up for ratification again by the voters, in the form of Issue 2; needless to say, the Democrats are particularly desperate to reverse it, pretty much for the exclusive benefit of their Big Labor cronies. The need to keep reform alive in Ohio was thus prominent in the below interview:
The primary pro-Issue 2 website (“Building a Better Ohio”) can be found here. I encourage folks to check it out.
The bill is SB5, and it will limit future collective bargaining for Ohio state employees to base salary: it passed the Ohio Senate with a one-vote margin (all hail the power of having a strong enough majority to allow you breathing room: elections matter, folks*). The bill now goes to the House, where the GOP has a 59-40 advantage: and a simple majority constitutes a quorum in the Ohio legislature, which means that the bill will likewise almost certainly pass there with sufficient margin to permit a defection or two. Governor Kasich will of course sign the bill once it is law.
While this is all of course good news for advocates of reform generally, it does also have a bearing on the specific situation in Wisconsin. The time has come for union leadership and other Democrats in that state to ask themselves what they want to do. To wit: do they want to start an armed insurrection against the legitimate government of Wisconsin? Or do they want to start preparing their supporters for what promises to be a crushing defeat of their (misguided) hopes? Continue reading Collective bargaining reform passes Ohio Senate.