Anyone who has been following politics on the national scene has heard the word “balance” thrown around a lot. Everyone—from the president to members of Congress to political pundits—is saying that a balanced approach must be used to solve the problems facing our country.

Balance can also be used here in Ohio when talking about legislation such as Senate Bill 5. Unfortunately, much of the information that has surfaced regarding the bill has been anything but balanced. Opponents claim the bill will “break the backs of the middle class,” but this statement is completely untrue.

In reality, SB 5 brings us closer to balancing the vast disparity between what public employees pay toward their pensions and healthcare benefits compared to what private-sector workers pay. Under the current system, some public employees pay less than 10 percent of their healthcare premiums, while private-sector workers pay about 23 percent. SB 5 increases public employees’ contributions to 15 percent, which is still far less than the average in the private sector.

By implementing responsible reforms to our government spending, SB 5 will give local governments and school districts more flexibility when managing their funds, especially when facing layoffs of our public employees. This bill will save jobs for our dedicated teachers, police officers and firefighters by giving employers other options besides just firing our best workers.

The common-sense provisions in SB 5 will get government costs under control and grant more freedom to local governments and taxpayers at a time when balance is more crucial than ever.


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