The Ohio senate passed a proposal on Wednesday that would limit public union employees collective bargaining power. The vote on Senate Bill 5 legislation was close passing the chamber 17 to 16. The legislation is designed to change 27 years of collective bargaining law in Ohio. The bill now goes to the state house for a vote.
Unlike quorum issues faced by the Wisconsin legislature during its debate over collective bargaining, Ohio Republicans have enough of a majority in both chambers to have their own quorum.
Labor members and supporters sat in the chamber and others watched the proceedings broadcast outside the Senate floor near the rotunda. The visiting crowds cheered repeatedly following speeches made by Democrats, determined to stop the bill from reaching Republican Governor John Kasich’s desk, as well as scoffed and heckled SB 5’s sponsor Republican Senator Shannon Jones.
Members of both parties addressed the senate. Democratic Senator Nina Turner read a speech, where she used the famous “First they came” quote by Pastor Martin Niemöller (see video below).