Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 5 Thursday evening in the Statehouse State Room, limiting the collective bargaining rights of about 360,000 public employees.
In an e-mail sent to constituents Thursday afternoon, Kasich said the passing of SB 5 through the general assembly is a victory for Ohio.
“At the end of the day, this change is going to give us control at the local level,” Kasich said as he sat down to sign the bill into law at 7:19 p.m. SB 5 is an overhaul of a collective bargaining law which gave public employees, such as firefighters and teachers, the right to bargain for their wages, hours, working conditions and benefits.
In a press release Wednesday, Kasich said SB 5 gives local governments and schools powerful tools to reduce costs.
“With some of the highest taxes in the country, Ohio is struggling to create a climate that is attractive to the businesses that create jobs,” Kasich said in the press release. “Helping local governments reduce their costs so they can begin lightening Ohio’s tax burden helps us compete better against states that are far friendlier to job-creators.”
Over the last month, protestors have frequented the lawn of the Statehouse in fierce opposition of SB 5, claiming it revokes the rights they have been working toward for more than 20 years.
Sen. Charleta Tavares, a democratic member of the 15th district in the Ohio Senate, spoke in opposition of the bill during the vote Wednesday night.
“Local government didn’t ask for it, and we’re eliminating the middle class,” Tavares said.
Democrats have promised to collect the required number of signatures to send the bill to the November ballot. If the signatures are collected, the bill will not be law until it passes the November vote.