The Dayton Daily News reported that in comments to the Ohio Newspaper Association, Governor Kasich indicated that if the legislature doesn’t quickly pass the kind of collective bargaining rollbacks he wants, he’ll include them in his budget.

Kasich said his own bill would outlaw strikes and penalize those who do walk off the job by firing them or docking their pay. He also noted that he wants fact-finding reports produced during contract negotiations open to the public so taxpayers know the details.

Kasich specifically said that if he’s not satisfied with the progress on the Shannon Jones’ collective bargaining bill (which was actually not even introduced until yesterday), he’s going to incorporate his own platform of rollback in his proposed budget due by mid-March.

Note that by his comments, Kasich’s proposal may actually be  less radical than even SB 5.  Kasich didn’t reportedly ban the right for state employees to engage in collective bargaining or address some of the more radical aspects of Jones’ bill.  This may be an attempt at the conservative version of triangulation.

Regardless, including this in the context of the budget battle is an explosive thing for the Governor to do.  The budget has to pass and is already expected to be a difficult thing to swallow.  The reality is that the House Republicans can release up to nine of their more vulnerable members from supporting either the budget or Kasich’s collective bargaining reform.

The other interesting thing to note is that Kasich has embraced total ownership of the issue.  At lease while it was just SB 5, ownership of the issue was with Jones.  It didn’t inherently run to the Governor until he’s now threatened to make it part of the budget.

Which raising another question.  Why would Kasich feel the need with a margin of error of nine GOP members of the House to threaten to include collective bargaining in the State budget?  Again, the bill was just introduced yesterday and already had its first hearing in the Senate.  There’s no doubt that it’ll pass in some form  and become law.  So why the budget threat?

I think it’s because Kasich is afraid that the longer the debate goes, the weaker the final product will be.

Kasich came into office with little political capital except whatever partisan loyalty gets you in Columbus (ask Gov. Taft).  He’s burning it up like a guy who doesn’t think he’s going to be in office six months from now.

Kasich political capital

Believe it or not, there are Republicans in the General Assembly (I’m looking at you State Sen. Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) that are considered union-friendly who rely either on the support of labor or the lack of labor’s opposition to their campaigns for their political survival.  Ironically, even State Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro), the sponsor of SB 5, touted the endorsement of the Ohio F.O.P. in her most recent campaign.

John Kasich doesn’t threaten to incorporate the collective bargaining issue into the budget fight for no reason.  Maybe he’s an impatient guy (even though he spent years laying the groundwork for him to become Governor).  Maybe he’s that reactionary to any sign of opposition.  Or maybe he’s got a bunch of GOP legislators losing their freaking minds over the sight of over 800 folks packing the Capitol Building in protest.

Regardless, it would seem to be an odd and expectedly unnecessary power play for Kasich to make.  There is little doubt that left out of the budget, the GOP will likely pass some form of collective bargaining roll back… unless that assumption, made by most, is actually not true.

The only upside I see in this is yet another attempt by Kasich to make a major policy change with the hopes that if it’s within the context of the budget or an appropriation, it can’t been made subject to a repeal by referendum.  Except, of course, it could still be repealed by an initiative petition instead.   Also, unless, I misread the Ohio Supreme Court precedent, I think such changes is severable from the budget enough to be challenged by referendum.  (Thanks,!)

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  • Anonymous

    this is a stupid question, but has anyone seen an LSC fiscal note on the bill?

    To close the budget gap, they are going to need all the tricks and one-time money sources they can find. They’re going to build all sorts of privatization schemes into the budget bill to raise fictional “revenue” and this and a lot of other things (agency consolidation, anyone?) to count as “savings” in order to hit the $8 billion mark. Doesn’t surprise me at all they’d try to claim some savings to the state from CB and use it to balance the budget. Which is why LSC’s analysis will be so interesting.

  • Anonymous

    Since SB 5 is hundreds of pages long and was just release, I don’t believe there’s ANY LSC analysis on the bill yet. And that’s probably by design.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    Folks can you tell me the last time that police or firefighters and or state workers went on strike? not in the 20 years I have worked– not since collective bargaining in 1983– you know the thing they want to get rid of . Teachers?
    Kasich has said this multiple times — police firefighter and state workers have it in their contracts “no strikes” — state employees ( ocsea ) has a no strike no lockout clause. Have had for years . Corrections cant strike either.So can anyone tell me why he doesnt know this.
    Teachers ? maybe in 2008 ? tried to look up — info not very good.
    Yes I bet theres support from republicans also– not all are like Kasich.
    What can collective bargaining issues have to do with the budget? they keep saying budget , budget yet no one has any numbers on the savings this is suppose to provide.
    I find it funny he wants the public to see fact finding — most of that isnt much anyway. Hes just mad because the unions didnt support him and this is the punishment for not doing so.
    the balance hes talking about ” he said restore balance between labor and management”– what he meant was — cut labor wages and give to the managers.
    I was told today that there had not been any layoffs since 1982 in states (odot). So apparently bargaining works pretty well.
    and why is no one telling the state have less employees –back to the 1983 totals.
    and some one should tell Ms Jones — I think that the employees pay close to 20% of their health care now .( ocsea would know about this)
    well if 800 scared them just wait until next Tuesday wonder how 1200 will sit with them.and more on Thurs.
    what is it they say ” I love when a good plan comes together”
    My opinion — throw this bill out and write another one that people can understand
    and take suggestions for the folks who know whats going on — most employees know where the waste is .
    Load up the bus we are coming next Tuesday — and Kasich get out of the way.

  • guest

    Here is more evidence that Prince John KKKasich is a misanthrope. Namely he hates people who aren’t rich enough. For those of you who aren’t rich and voted for him, here is your pile of 100% of nothing. IDIOTS, he doesn’t work for us.

  • Anonymous

    Who has the information about next week’s get together? How much would it cost to start petitions to recall Kasich? I’m just asking.

  • Tim M

    Don’t forget about Tom Patton, district 24. On his state web site in the scrolling pictures one of them is of him testifying on legislation to help strengthen benefits for firefighters and emergency responders. If he supports this bill he’s toast. Why did Anthony Fossaceca declare so early? Because the Republicans are softing themselves up and making them easy targets.

  • Anonymous

    No substantive LSC analysis yet. The bill was just unveiled yesterday.

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  • Rob

    The Tea Party is planning a rally to support this on Feb 17th. They are planning on sending bus loads of people into Columbus… Let’s show them and outnumber them 10 to 1!!!

  • Jenjor0526

    Ohio is already a Right to Work State

  • Anonymous


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