Tomorrow Senate Bill 5 is going to get an additional committee hearing. Unfortunately testimony will be limited to people who signed up before last Thursday.
While this technically isn’t against the rules, the decision does seem irresponsible on the part of the Chairman. Given the importance of this bill, the massive impact it would have on Ohio’s middle class workers, the level of debate it is receiving in the press and the huge demonstrations against it – you would think the committee would attempt to get as much input as possible before voting on it.
It comes across as an attempt on the part of the Republican leadership to stifle testimony for a bill they are already having a hard time getting their own committee members to support.
Here’s the memo from Bacon:
TO: Members of the Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee
FROM: Senator Kevin Bacon, Chairman
DATE: February 18, 2011
RE: Meeting Dates and Agenda
For Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
South Hearing Room
SB 5 (Sen. Jones) Revisions to Collective Bargaining Law 4th Hearing
NOTE: Testimony will be limited to those individuals who had contacted the Chairman’s office prior to the Feb. 17th hearing. We request that an electronic copy of the testimony be provided to the Chairman’s office by noon on Monday, February 21, 2010.
In anticipation of another large turnout, we ask that the witnesses first report to the Grant Hearing Room (110) at 3:00 p.m.
cc: Senate Clerk, House Clerk, Press Room, Sgt-At-Arms, Interested parties, LSC Staff
And here’s the response from Senate Minority leader Cafaro: