Columbus: 'Right to Work' proposals stir heated debate

7:01 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBUS -- Will it be a sequel to Senate Bill 5? Or just a heated sideshow?

Two bills that would make Ohio the 25th "right-to-work" state have emotions flying.

House Speaker William Batchelder's decrying what he calls defamatory statements made by a union leader, comparing Republicans behind the bill to Nazis.

Workers holding a rally against the proposals were also emotional.

Canton Steelworker Jim Bonsky said, "Two years ago, they tried SB 5 and we the people shot it down. What they are trying to do is resurrect the dead and bring this on again. They don't understand."

The proposals are being made by State Reps. Kristina Roegner, of Hudson, and Ron Maag, of Hudson. They argue the measures would give workers needed freedom and make Ohio more competitive for companies and jobs.

Governor John Kasich has been studiously avoiding needless controversy as he heads into his reelection year.

His spokesman said the Governor had not taken a position on the proposals and that it would be "premature" to take one.

Kasich's likely opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, issued a statement, saying "working class  and middle class familiew would never have to fear these kinds of attacks if I am governor."

House Speaker Batchelder has been noncommital. But thus far, it seems unlikely that the proposals will be a top priority in a legislature working its way through remaking the governor's budget.

And it seems likely Kasich would want to avoid rekindling volatile emotions as he ramps up his reelection bid.


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