Ohio Senate Approves Anti-Union Bill

The movement to restrict the power of public sector unions chalked up a legislative win today in Ohio.

A measure that would ban strikes and greatly restrict collective bargaining rights cleared the state Senate by a 17-16 vote, reports the Columbus Dispatch. It now goes to the House, where Republicans have a sizable majority. If it passes there—figure on a vote in about two weeks—Gov. John Kasich has promised to sign it into law. Unlike their counterparts in Wisconsin, Ohio Republicans could call a vote because they have enough members to make a quorum.

The bill reached the Senate floor only after Senate President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, pulled two bill opponents off of a pair of key committees.

Niehaus yanked Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, off the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee prior to this morning's vote. He has been an outspoken opponent not only of the content of the bill, which he says gives too much leverage to government employers, but of the process, which he said created an unnecessarily confrontational atmosphere.