Ohioans are stepping up to take on their Tea Party Governor, John Kasich.
The effort to get a referendum on Ohio's SB 5 needed 231,149 valid signatures from 44 counties. Today, pro-repeal groups marched in Columbus to deliver 1,298,301 petition signatures to the secretary of state.
Two weeks ago, when the repeal campaign announced that more than 700,000 signatures had been collected, Chris Bowers provided an overview:
The only public polls released on SB 5 have shown wide majorities of Ohio voter in favor of repeal. A Quinnipiac poll from mid-May showed repeal ahead 54%-36%, while a PPP poll from later in May showed repeal winning 55%-35%.
This signature gathering campaign does not just force a November referendum on the bill. It actually prevents the bill from going into law until the results of the referendum are certified. As such, if the repeal wins in November, which seems likely, then SB 5 will never become law. This is shaping up to become a total defeat for Ohio Governor John Kasich and his union-busting allies.
That defeat won't come without a lot more hard work, but today the campaign to get enough signatures to force a referendum ends, and the campaign to win the referendum begins.
NY Times has more:
An effort in Ohio to repeal a law reducing the power of public workers to bargain collectively moved forward this week, with the group leading the effort saying it had enough signatures to put it on the ballot and could deliver them to the state on Wednesday.
Volunteers from We Are Ohio, a coalition of public and private sector workers, collected 714,137 signatures over about two months, said Melissa Fazekas, a spokeswoman for the group. Some will probably be declared invalid by county officials, but the number is still far more than the approximately 230,000 required to get the measure on the ballot in November, she said.
The law, Senate Bill 5, was introduced this spring by a Republican member of Ohio’s Senate. Similar to legislation in Wisconsin, it sought to limit the bargaining power of public workers in order to give local governments more control over their costs. Its passage struck a nerve, and Democrats promised to put it on the ballot this fall, arguing that it dealt a blow to an already weakened middle class.
The bill would reverse decades of practice in labor disputes, by making it illegal to strike, and allowing public employees to bargain only if their employer chose to do so. Unlike Wisconsin’s law, Ohio’s also applied to the police and firefighters.