Letter to the editor in the Marietta Times (8/11/2011)
Know the facts about Senate Bill 5

As debate about Senate Bill 5 continues, the opponents of this bill have done a good job of framing these responsible, cost-saving reforms as an "attack on the middle class." They know it is their best opportunity to sway public opinion to their side-so they, at best, ignore the truth or, at worst, mislead altogether.

They would like you to believe that collective bargaining is being completely taken away from public workers, which is simply not true. SB 5 does not eliminate a public employee's right to collectively bargain; it merely places reasonable cost-containment measures on issues such as public employees' healthcare and pension contributions. Public workers will still be able to bargain for their hours and wages and, for public safety and law enforcement, safety equipment can also be subject to collective bargaining discussion.

Additionally, SB 5 makes labor negotiations more transparent. Currently, much of these negotiations happens behind closed doors. It is important for the public to know what happens at the bargaining table because, after all, it is their money that will ultimately be affected. SB 5 reserves a seat at the table for taxpayers and allows them to see how their own money is being spent and whether that money is being spent efficiently.

In addition to being a legislator who voted for SB 5, I am also a small business owner and-most importantly-a father. I see these reasonable reforms as an important step toward strengthening our communities, reducing our tax burden and improving public services by ensuring that our classrooms, patrol cars and fire stations are staffed with the most qualified individuals.

By implementing the policies in SB 5, Ohio will join other states, including Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey, in returning to a responsible government, where the public has a voice in determining how its taxpayer money is spent.


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